Columbia County officials have cleared the way for Warren Baptist Church’s plans to establish a satellite location on the outskirts of Grovetown.
County commissioners unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to rezone a commercial warehouse on Horizon South Parkway to allow for its use as a worship space for the church, which has its main campus on 21-acres at Furys Ferry and Washington roads in Richmond County.
Warren Baptist’s pastor, the Rev. David McKinley, said the plan lets the church reach out to where the area’s population is growing. Instead of continuing to build and add on to the Augusta campus, the church is exploring the type of expansion strategy that other large churches have begun to embrace.
In its rezoning application, Warren Baptist cited examples of other churches with satellite congregations, including The Summit Church in Raleigh, N.C., which meets at six locations, at least one of which is a warehouse.
Warren Baptist’s new location is a 43,000-square-foot building at 777 Horizon South Parkway, just outside the Grovetown city limits, which had been used as overflow warehouse space by mattress manufacturer, Serta. McKinley said the church intends to use about half of that space, and they were in discussions with Serta to determine whether it will continue using the remaining portion of the warehouse.
McKinley said he intends to announce the new location to his congregation this morning. According to the church Web site, a special Church Business Conference will convene on Aug. 18 to consider a plan for renovation of the property and a vote will be taken that day.
McKinley said he was eager to begin serving the growing number of families in the Grovetown area, many of whom are brought here by military connections at Fort Gordon.
“Our nets are full and we are ready to cast some new nets,” he said.