Church breaks ground on new building after fire

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 2, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE — When Corriher Heights Baptist Church was struck by lightning nearly a year ago, it was devastating, but the church rebounded and are looking forward to rebuilding.
The church, located at 1980 N.C. 153, was struck causing extensive damage in April, and immediately the church had offers from other churches to worship with them, but Pastor Chris Pethel had other plans.
The church cleared out their fellowship hall and began having church that following Sunday and every Sunday since.
New Grace Church of Concord donated some pews to the China Grove church.
On Saturday, members of the church gathered to break ground during an 11 a.m. service.
“We’ve been working on this since the church burned,” Pethel said.
The church has contracted with A.L.R. Architects in Charlotte and Crescent Construction of Concord to rebuild.
“We’ve been trying to raise funds and things like that. The Lord blessed us with a grant from the Cannon Foundation. Other churches and individuals have given donations,” he said.
Plans are complete and the construction will start within the next couple of weeks.
“As far as I know everything has been approved,” Pethel said.
The church hopes that by the end of the year construction will be complete.
“The fire was devastating. It hurt as far as ministry in some areas, but as far as ministry and outreach of the church, it hasn’t hindered us at all,” Pethel said.
He said it’s a bit crowded in the fellowship hall, but admits it’s been good for the congregation.
“It brought the church together. We had to depend on the Lord much more. It has been a blessing. God has been good to us,” he said.
Pethel said if it hadn’t been for the hand of the Lord helping the church they couldn’t have continued.
“God works through people. If it wasn’t for them being willing to be used, we could not have continued,” Pethel said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.