CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Conway leaders discuss renovations and approve reimbursement to a local church significantly damaged by Hurricane Florence at Monday’s city council meeting. After nearly two years of renovations, the church is one step closer to reopening its doors.
Going on 18 months, 800 long time members of Conway’s Trinity United Methodist Church have been waiting on renovations that would put them back in pews for worship.
Conway leaders discuss rezoning plans as the church not only has plans to repair all five buildings on the Trinity campus, some in which were 2 to 3 feet underwater, but also has plans to expand the building to welcome a new crowd.
“It’s going to be a transformation to tell you the truth,” Dale Grunsky, Chairman of the Building Committee and member said. “We had an older congregation and still have an older congregation but now we are looking to redo and attract a younger group.”
Church members say they plan to institute new programs as they open the new building in the coming months to better help serve the community. Expansion from 3 to 5.32 acres to support these plans would require the approval of rezoning from their current zoning classification, R-1, to a Planned Development District.
“When a church is over three acres it’s required to be a planned district and that’s because a lot of times with religious institutions you not only have the church but you have family life centers, fellowship halls, gymnasiums, playgrounds,” Mary Catherine Hyman, Conway Planning Development Director said.
Hyman says a lot of the bigger churches across town are planned districts. Church leaders say the additional space would support youth programs, a new concourse, and a family life center down the road. The programs would contribute to growing and serving greater needs in the community while inviting a new crowd of younger members.
“The challenge to the church is to try to reverse that trend a little bit and to just make programs more acceptable to the young people as well as to maintain the older congregation as well,” Grunsky said.
TUMC leaders say they hope to have renovations in the sanctuary completed in time to hold an Easter service in April.
Count on News13 to bring you updates on the developing project.
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