Over the past month, I have been spending a lot of time at New Beginnings Moravian Church in Huntersville, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. Our Morning Star Campaign Services is providing assistance as the church plans renovations to their facilities.
This congregation is unusual in our Moravian world because it was chartered less than 15 years ago. Its growth has been slow and steady, with each step well-planned and well-executed. Here’s a brief outline of New Beginnings’ history:
- In September of 1989, a small group began to hold informal worship services in Huntersville.
- In May of 2000, Pastor Chris Thore accepted the call to the new church plant and by October, they held their 1st official worship service at a local funeral home.
- By May of 2001, 106 people added their signatures to the official Church Charter. Their dream was to build a new church on land that had been acquired on Black Farm Road, but slow and steady carried the day. A Baptist congregation was selling their church property on a road not far from where they were worshiping, a facility that was practically turn-key for the congregation.
- The Baptists moved out, the Moravians moved in, and they held their first worship service on Palm Sunday in April 2003.
The dream of a new church building is still bright but the congregation is practical and methodical. Realizing the costs associated with new construction, they began to figure out how they could invest in their current building to improve and expand it and make it a place to serve and grow.
By May of 2010, the congregation was ready to embark on a 3-phase project to upgrade the facility and make it their own. The first phase included removal of a trailer on the site, the acquisition of adjacent property to significantly increase the parking lot, and converting a storage room into an office for Pastor Chris. By fall of that year they accomplished all this plus they were able to landscape the entire property. By September 2012, Phase Two was completed, converting the baptismal pool area into a choir room and place for band instruments. Now on to Phase Three. This presents the biggest challenge yet. The Fellowship Hall, which has a metal exterior, will be expanded and encased in brick to match the sanctuary. The addition of much-needed classroom space, storage, and office space is also a part of this plan, along with improved HVAC, restrooms, and exit lighting. This project will require a capital campaign to raise the needed funds. My work is to help the church plan and execute capital fundraising to make Phase Three a reality.
Slow and steady – a prudent and careful way to realize the dreams of this congregation. I’ll keep you posted of their progress on this, the most ambitious challenge they’ve undertaken. I foresee a bright future for these hardworking Moravians. Stay tuned.