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safe harbor

By Paris Goodnight
Salisbury Post
For anyone who has had the pleasure of setting up andtearing down for a church service in a temporary location, the dedication day for a new church building comes as a blessing indeed.
It took the Rev. Rick Perry just about two years to the day of the first organizational meeting of Safe Harbor Baptist Church to the first Sunday in a new church building at 270 Dunns Mountain Church Road.
The first meeting was Feb. 15, 2006, and dedication is Sunday.
The congregation has been meeting at Granite Quarry Elementary while planning and then constructing the 6,000-square-foot church building that’s 50-by-120-feet long. The 80 members broke ground seven months ago.
The auditorium can hold 285, with the choir space allowing an additional 39.
Perry said volunteer labor was the only way the church could do it ó even with help financing from Community Bank and the Rufty family who sold the eight acres of land for the church.
He said a group called Craftsmen for Christ, which helps build smaller churches all over the eastern United States, helped and never charged a thing.
“They had it framed up in two weeks. That’s with 12-foot walls and high ceilings and everything,” Perry said.
“Work days are Saturdays, but somebody’s been here about every day,” he added. “There were 20 to 25 men here every Saturday.”
When they first started talking about building, Perry said they were thinking something like a gym to start out. But that soon changed to the brick building with nice windows that’s now complete, along with pews in place.
The parking lot will be the biggest thing remaining to finish. A gravel lot will work temporarily, but Perry said a concrete lot will go in as soon as possible, hopefully within a month or so. A grading crew was working last Saturday smoothing out the lot, and more work is planned today to get it ready for Sunday’s crowd.
Final work on the sound system was going on Wednesday.
Perry was a member of New Hope Baptist Church for 14 years, working in music and as youth pastor. He said it was a time of transition with New Hope getting a new pastor when the Lord put it on his heart to start a ministry from the ground up. He started meeting with a few families and that grew to the current 80-member roster.
That includes Perry’s wife, Lydia, and his parents, Larry and Janice. His brother, Ronnie (and wife, Donna), and cousin, Wesley (and wife, Wendy), are other members, along with his children, Stephen, Cameron and Bryson. His oldest daughter, Lauren, is living in Alabama now.
Safe Harbor will be an independent Baptist church.
As for the name Safe Harbor, he said that’s also something the Lord laid on his heart. “Whenever someone walks through the doors of a church, it should be a sanctuary from the world,” he noted.
“We never really expected it. The Lord has really blessed us.”
The new phone number isn’t operational yet, but Perry said you can contact him at 704-855-2466 for more information about Safe Harbor.
Contact Paris Goodnight at 704-797-4255 or pgoodnight@salisburypost.com.

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