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Members of Church of Christ congregations in Rock Hill and Fort Mill are planting the seed of a new church in Clover one they hope will grow and flourish as they teach Gods word.
Were just excited to get started at this point, said Greg Wanderman, pastor of a sprouting Church of Christ congregation of about 60 that worships on Sundays at Clovers Kinard Elementary School.
We want to help spread the gospel in Clover and in York County, said Wanderman, 39, who is moving his wife and two daughters from Knoxville, Tenn., to lead the Clover church. We want to serve the community to preach the word and save souls.
The Clover church this month broke ground on a new 5,000-square-foot church building on about five acres on S.C. 55 east of Kingsbury Road, between the Clover and Lake Wylie communities. It will include a fellowship hall for gatherings, a worship area and classsrooms, he said.
Jim Hood, an elder with the new church, said the land purchase and construction have been made possible with the support of individuals and of other area Church of Christ congregations.
This was a planned church planting, he said. We hope it will grow. Whether it will grow like the others, well have to wait and see. Well do what we can and leave the rest up to God.
The Church of Christ is a nondenominational church, Hood said, that aims to teach the complete word of God. We strive to teach all of Gods word and not just a piece of it, he said.
We really believe that we dont have all the answers, because theres a lot of things in scripture that are left up to subjective decision making, he said. But we do our best to teach all of it the things that are rather easy to understand, and those that are more difficult to understand.
Hood, who lives in Belmont, N.C., said the Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ in Rock Hill in 1995 identified a need for a new Church of Christ in Fort Mill. That had been a dream of theirs for several years, he said.
Hood said he was among about 35 people who started the Church of Christ congregation on Gold Hill Road in Fort Mill. They began meeting in an old Ramada Inn on Carowinds Boulevard while the Church of Christ at Gold Hill Road was being built.
Within about three years, Hood said, elders in the Gold Hill Road church decided there was a need for another Church of Christ congregation north of York and west of Fort Mill. From Clover, he said, its about 15 miles in any direction to the nearest Church of Christ congregation.
He said some members of the Gold Hill Road church live in the Clover or Gaston County areas in North Carolina, and have been driving 15 to 18 miles to worship in Fort Mill.
The Gold Hilll Road elders found the land on S.C. 55, which was purchased for the planned Clover congregation with the help of other Church of Christ congregations and individuals, he said.
Beginning last fall, about 60 people began worshiping at Kinard as planning for the Clover church was underway. Wanderman said he accepted the position as minister of the Clover Church of Christ in April.
I want to get the word out. I want to let people know were here, he said.
Wanderman said the church will be a community church. The idea is that a community church is going to be more effective at helping and dealing with people and sharing the gospel on a more personal level, he said.
Hood, 64, who recently retired from Bank of America, said he hopes the Clover church will be completed and ready for services by the end of the year. But that will depend on weather and other factors, he said.