The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

January 11, 2014

Jim Bailey: Churches relocate as congregational patterns change

From the early years of white population in Anderson, churches have been among the most significant landmarks.

But as congregational patterns, demands on buildings and demographic factors changed over the years, doing business at the old stand, so to speak, has gone the way of the horse and buggy.

A few landmark institutions of spiritual sustenance are still at their original locations. Central Christian Church has always been at 10th and Jackson streets. St. Mary’s Catholic Church, reputed to stand on the highest ground in the city, remains at 11th and Fletcher streets. Trinity Episcopal is at 1030 Brown-Delaware. And First Presbyterian Church is still at 230 W. Ninth St.

Others are still at original locations but with a completely different look. First United Methodist rebuilt at 12th and Jackson after a fire in the 1960s destroyed the old sanctuary. First Church of the Nazarene greatly expanded from its original building at 2324 Jackson Street. Across Meridian, South Meridian Church of God recently completed a remodeling of its already-reconstructed edifice. East Side Church of God, 2600 E. Fifth, now worships in at least its fourth sanctuary. Sherman Street Church of God and Edgewood Baptist both have expanded.

For others, growth or demographic changes have brought much more dramatic changes and new locations.

First Baptist Church, for instance, several years ago built a brand-new church building at 907 N. Raible Ave., relocating from its longtime near-downtown location at 14th and Lincoln streets.

The former North Anderson Church of God has moved twice. From its original Broadway location, the congregation built a new edifice on North Scatterfield Road. During the time it worshipped there, the church’s constituency mushroomed to the point another new sanctuary was needed. With expansion deemed not feasible at the Broadway location, the congregation relocated to 6607 Providence Drive, south of Interstate 69, where it now goes by Madison Park Church of God.

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