Sunday morning offered a chance to come together for worship in comfortably familiar surroundings for members of Pilot Mountain First Presbyterian Church, but changes could be easily seen and appreciated.
A groundbreaking had been held last July, with a goal of building a new fellowship hall and renovation of the existing sanctuary. With work now on the verge of being complete, services were able to again be held at the church located at 316 East Main Street.
“It was wonderful to get back in our beautiful sanctuary, to finally be home again,” said Debra Alford.
According to Pastor Travis Milam, renovations to the sanctuary building have included new doors, new carpet, restrooms and updated office spaces. The floor of the vestibule was raised to eliminate a step leading into the sanctuary.
The new fellowship hall joins the sanctuary building and has a central meeting area as well as other meeting rooms and a kitchen area. The fellowship hall is not currently ready for use but plans are for it to be utilized in the near future.
“And with the new addition of the fellowship hall, we look forward to once again being able to provide meals to our community and to use the building for future mission opportunities,” Alford said.
According to Pastor Milam, the project was made possible when longtime church member Freddy D. Smith, who passed away in 2017, bequeathed $1.2 million to the church for the purpose of either building a new church sanctuary or a fellowship hall. A new fellowship hall was chosen while funding allowed some renovations of the sanctuary to also be undertaken.
“We were very pleased to be able to update the sanctuary and office area,” Milam said. “It had needed to be done.”
Milam said that because of the funds bestowed, the project is being completed debt free.
“Freddy Smith’s generosity made the renovations and the new fellowship hall possible,” Alford said. “As I look back to 2020 I think about how surreal it was. But we were continually blessed in the area of finances, prayers and talents of our congregation and the community.”
“We want to especially express our thanks to Pilot Lodge A.F. & A.M. for allowing us to meet there for Bible study and Sunday morning worship services while the church was being renovated.”
The church is planning a dedication service to be held coinciding with a Homecoming meal and activities on September 26.
“It was a good feeling,” Milam said of Sunday morning’s service, “to look out and see the happy, smiling faces. They were ready to be back. They were glad to be back. And now, we’re ready to move forward.”