The Sanctuary, a 9-month-old church in Evans, has found a permanent home.
Pastor Bryan Cockrell said The Sanctuary recently purchased the former Evans Community Church building at the intersection of Byrd and Cox roads near Evans High School.
It was sold April 9 for $1.65 million, according to county records.
Cockrell said the move to a permanent home happened sooner than anyone expected.
"It's a lot quicker than we thought it would be, but the Lord has been faithful and directed (us) along each step," he said.
The Sanctuary formerly held services at Riverside Baptist Church on Hardy McManus Road, and had been attracting about 350 attendees to its Sunday afternoon services, he said.
When The Sanctuary held its first 10:30 a.m. worship service in its new home April 22, more than 500 people attended, he said.
The Sanctuary was born out of a family tragedy for Cockrell and his wife Sharon. They started the church in August on the five-year anniversary of the death of their 14-year-old daughter, Jenna.
The pastor said God called him to start the church to "remember a new beginning instead of a loss for us."
The Sanctuary has moved its former Tuesday night Bible study and youth services to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Cockrell said.
As a result of the sale, Evans Community moved its Sunday services to noon at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in the Columbia County Library.
Evans Community began 10 years ago and held services at Westside High School, before building its former Cox Road sanctuary.
Pastor William L. Bullard wrote in an e-mail that the church has found a new mission.
"After 10 years of ministry, the Evans Community Church has taken on a new vision of church planting or church launching!" Bullard wrote. He stated Evans Community is more than a facility - it is the body of its congregation.
The church membership was compelled to more actively take church services to those in need, Bullard wrote. He said he would like to begin area crusades, revivals, concerts and events to unify the Christian community and reach out to the spiritually under-served.
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