ANDERSON — With a growing congregation and a building in need of costly renovations, Glad Tidings Church members started praying for an answer.
Turns out their answer was right up the road from the church’s longtime location on School Street as the congregation has moved into the former North Anderson Church of God at 2604 N. Scatterfield Road.
“We kind of came to a crossroads, realized that there was a lot of renovation that needed to take place in that building and it was really cost prohibitive for the amount of money it would take and not gain a single square foot of space,” Pastor Matt Boldizsar said.
Moving to Anderson from Crisfield, Maryland, three years ago, Boldizsar has seen the church triple in size.
Facing $400,000 in renovations, the congregation put in an offer in May and was moved in by November.
The move cost about $500,000, but drastically increased the square footage and acreage with room to grow.
Their average Sunday attendance runs between 150 and 160, Boldizsar said.
North Anderson Church of God acquired 211 acres near Interstate 69 Exit 226 in 2000. In 2007, that congregation moved into the spacious, new 78,000-square-foot building on Anderson’s far south side.
Since their name no longer matched their location, they changed it to Madison Park Church of God.
Built in 1988, according to county assessment records, the North Anderson building had various tenants afterward but remained mostly empty for 12 years.
“It needed work. I think eight of the 12 HVAC units needed to be replaced, so we’re still in the process (of renovating),” Boldizsar said.
Within days of closing on its new location, Glad Tidings was able to sell its property on School Street to neighbor Kelly Drews, owner of Drews Parts and School Street Storage.
“We were thrilled about that, because the idea of having to manage two properties through the winter was a little bit scary,” Boldizsar said.
The congregation is able to use the building during the renovation by holding the Sunday service at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary and having various small groups meeting during the week.
The building came with a tenant. TRC Headstart uses the lower level.
“They do wonderful work in the community so we’re thrilled to partner with them,” Boldizsar said.
The church has plans to use its new location to reach the community including a food pantry and community dinners.
“We believe that God is doing something special in us so we can be a blessing to our community, and that’s just kind of what our heartbeat is,” Boldizsar said.