SUMTER, S.C. — A Midlands church found a new home in an abandoned sanctuary after years of searching for the right place - and the right price.
Sunday afternoon, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the official opening in Sumter.
In the 800 block of North Main Street, it was a historic day for members of Victory Praise and Worship Center.
"I am so excited to finally be able to spread our wings to Sumter, South Carolina," said Apostle Patrick Chambers, Senior Pastor of Victory Praise and Worship Center.
It took patience to get here. Chambers, said another church built the location in 2018, but it never opened.
"I understand the original pastor had some problems that came up in her health and she ended up not being able to continue her journey," he said.
The building sat on the property vacant for years. Chambers was interested, but he said it didn't fit the budget.
Then, years later, he looked again and found the same listing at an affordable price.
"I didn't even believe it. I didn't think it was true. I thought it was some scam," said Chambers. "Thank God for the second look because we ended up with a place that was just dynamite."
For 23 years, Sumter church members traveled to Columbia to attend service. Now, their church is close to home.
"We've already hit the streets passing out flyers and speaking to people. I've stood on the corner of 841 N Main Street and just spoke to people and greeted them and gave them love," said Chambers. "This community is a community where you have a lot of people who are underprivileged here."
Chambers also wants to minister to young people and found his new location also answered that prayer. Morris College is an eight-minute walk. Chambers said youth are already reaching out.
"Great things are gonna happen on this corner," he said. "We pray and ask God to make this place a place of refuge for those who need shelter from the storms of life."
This is the church's third location in the Midlands and fourth in South Carolina.