The new sanctuary of Beulah United Church of Jesus Christ was packed Saturday afternoon during a dedication service that brought to fruition many years of work.
After years of moving from building to building, the Williston congregation finally has a home of their own. They've faced many challenges along the way, including skeptics, lack of resources, and dwindling attendance, but Bishop Colie Lorick Jr. said they remained faithful to God.
"Don't just look at where you came from, but where he's taking you," said Lorick, a 5th Episcopal Diocesan Bishop, to the crowd. "This is a testimony to the fact that the God we serve is faithful. This is a great lesson in fortitude and faith."
The church was founded in 1987 by Lorick's father, Bishop C.L. Lorick Sr., who wanted to establish an Apostolic church in his hometown area of North. "This is the culmination of dreams of my father," said Lorick Jr.
The elder Lorick also attended the service and had three words for the congregation: "Thank the Lord."
The younger Lorick said the fact that his father spoke is a testimony to God's grace. Lorick Sr. has been ill with dementia and, until a couple months ago, has not spoken a word for four years.
During his tenure, Pastor Colin Barrett said the congregation has grown from 12 to approximately 60 members who come from three counties. The new building allows them to continue growing and better serve the community. "We've gone from a mission to a ministry," he said. "Our work here in Williston is tremendous."
That work includes their Family Thrift Store, which provides items for people at low cost and sends donations to other ministries. They also hope to establish a senior care wellness center where senior citizens can come socialize and receive health services, said Barrett.
Lorick Jr., who leads a church in Columbia, said he wishes the congregation the best as they work in Williston. "It's all about winning souls for the kingdom of Jesus Christ," he said. "The church should always be the spiritual guide."
The church is located at 10931 Hwy. 78 in Williston on five acres donated by Lorick's sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Marvin Bostic.
Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. with the service at 11 a.m. Wednesday prayer hour is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the teaching at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about Beulah United Church, find them on Facebook.
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