Zion Baptist Church breaks ground for expansion

December 17, 2000

Zion Baptist Church breaks ground for expansion


photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Church breaks groundWhen Pastor Haru Carter first came to Zion Baptist Church 15 years ago, he knew instantly that the church would be a tight fit.


Each week the church's 200 parishioners crammed into the 102-year-old church's sanctuary with seating for 150.

"And that's with everybody sitting real close," Carter said.

Sunday, the West Bethel Street church broke ground on a long-awaited, approximately 5,500-square-foot expansion and renovation.

Standing before a crowd of parishioners and guests, including state Sen. Don Munson, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and Washington County Commissioner Greg Snook, Carter said he was pleased that this day had come.

"I'm happy. Elated, that the Lord God has blessed us to this point," said Carter, who co-chaired the project along with Alfonso Mitchell.


Carter spoke in praise of the late Luther Irvin Brooks, a member of the Building Committee.

"He stood as a soldier and was committed to this church," said Carter.

To fund the project, the church took out a bank loan and for the past three years church officials and parishioners have been saving donations and conducting fund-raisers.

The project is expected to be put out to bid in February and construction will begin in March.

The expansion and renovation of the church should be done by August or September, Carter said.

The project will include demolishing a kitchen and restrooms and building or renovating space for a 214-seat sanctuary, new baptismal, nursery multi-purpose hall, offices and schoolroom.

"I'm thankful God has given me the opportunity to be a part of this," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the extra space will give the church more room for its many outreach programs.

The church offers leadership, charm school, classes and programs. It has an active youth group and a young men's mentoring program, he said.

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