From left: Outreach Director Ryan Bragg, Trustee Adam Altman,Todd Teems Jr., Pastor Robert L. Altman, Leon Hutto, Barnwell Newspaper Group Regional Publisher Laura McKenzie, James Raber, Youth Development Director Brett Bodiford and Secretary Cynthia Key
The People-Sentinel is on the move!
The People-Sentinel publisher Laura McKenzie announced this week the building that currently houses the Barnwell newspaper has been sold to Bethany Baptist Church.
The 12,780 sq.ft. building and 1.58 acre lot at 9988 Dunbarton Boulevard in Barnwell was owned by Morris Publishing Group, LLC. In the next few months the newspaper will be moving to their new location in the shopping center at 10499 Dunbarton Blvd., next to Tractor Supply.
"We're excited about the sale and think this is a great move for all of us," said McKenzie. "This was a "win-win" arrangement, providing for a new home for Bethany Baptist Church and the opportunity for The People-Sentinel to right-size itself in the Barnwell business community."
Bethany Baptist Church Pastor Robert L. Altman said he and his congregation are excited. "We needed room and had been exploring building but couldn't find the property we wanted."
He said a People-Sentinel staffer came into the Light of the Lamb Thrift Store in Barnwell to make a purchase and, during a conversation, a connection was made that the building might be available. "After that, it was a connection after connection. This process has taken almost a year."
Bethany Baptist is currently located about four miles east of Barnwell on Hwy. 70 and serves a multi-cultural congregation of over 206, said Altman. "We hold three services on Sunday to accommodate everyone - at 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m."
The current sanctuary can accommodate about 150 people. A third of their congregation is youth (birth to age 11) who are served in a Junior Church in a separate building, he said.
The former newspaper building will be transformed into a sanctuary to serve 300 to 400 people, a Junior Church, and offices. The Light of the Lamb Thrift Store will continue to operate on The Circle.
"We want this to become a place where people of all backgrounds can come to worship and develop," he said. "We want it to align with our mission statement - Bethany Baptist Church is a place that loves God, is a place that loves others, and serves both."
The building will be renovated over the next 12 to 18 months.
"First and foremost, we want to thank God," said Pastor Altman. "He led us here. We are just following."
"We also want to thank Morris Communications and The People-Sentinel for working with us," said Altman. "We want to thank our congregation for staying on board with our vision. Also, we thank Frank Mizzell at First Citizens for helping us with the financial part of this project."
Bethany Baptist Church may be reached online at www.bethanybbc.com and on Facebook.
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