They say good things come to those who wait. The members of the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church are counting on that expression being true.
They've spent years waiting - also hoping, praying, working and saving - and now they've begun construction on what they trust will be a very good thing: a new multipurpose building on their campus.
Landlocked in the heart of Mount Pleasant, the church faced an enviable problem: They were running out of room. Drawn by successful programs for children and youth, more and more families were attending. And even with three services every Sunday morning, space is tight.
So six years ago, a building committee was formed, which recommended constructing a multipurpose facility attached to the fellowship hall. Ben Culp and Don Alward were named committee chairs, and Scott Moser was put in charge of the capital campaign committee.
Time seems to move more slowly at churches than in the rest of the world; everything takes a little longer. The same is often true of construction projects. So a church construction project can take a very long time.
For years, the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church raised money and pledges, talked with consultants and architects and wrestled with zoning ordinances.
Finally, in 2008, the architect completed the building design, the project was put out for bid, and financing was sought. Then the recession tightened the credit market and financing became unavailable. The project was put on hold.
Throughout that long process, Scott Moser said, people sometimes doubted the project would happen. At times people wanted to look at other options, such as buying an adjacent property, or even moving from the current location. But there's a high level of support and enthusiasm at this church, he told me, and having to wait for financing may have been a blessing in disguise.
While the church waited, building costs and interest rates both dropped. By the end of last year loans became available, and a contractor was selected. The delay also allowed more time for fundraising. To date, more than $1million has been raised from the church family.
Groundbreaking was April 25, and since then there's been a lot of activity on the campus. The day I visited, people were coming by just to watch - they are that excited. It should be a wonderful facility: an auditorium, staff offices, more classrooms and lots of space for youth.
Despite the wait, the members at Mount Pleasant United Methodist see good things coming.