CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - An old time church in Conway is now a week away from demolition. Juniper Bay Baptist Church has been here since the 1930's and served as a school house for twenty years in the Horry County area. Since the school closed, it has been a sanctuary for many people.
Because of the old age of the building, water damage from storms, and termites it doesn't meet present day codes. The church voted and decided it is best to tear it down.
The demolition hits close to home with many in the congregation. Folks say it is a bittersweet feeling that the church they have known for so long will be replaced with a new one.
Gail Lilly Todd, a long time member says, "I live in front of it so when I look outside I see the church, when the bad weather's coming I look at the church, um... I'm sad to see the building have to go away, but I'm excited to see a new and beautiful building coming."
For the past 16 months, the church has held service in their Family Life Center right next door. During that time, the building committee submitted the building and demolition permit and waited for approval from Horry County.
Tear down has been going on inside of the church during the wait time, but not everything will be lost. The exact same stain glass windows will make their way to the new church too.
"So we're trying to blend in some of the old in with the new, for memory wise," says Pat Edwards, Chairman of the Building Committee
With the brand new building, James Way, Reverend of Juniper Baptist Church hopes to bring in more people as well. He says, "Changing lives, changing families, changing communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ then what we're going to do, we're going to be able to send people out from there, not only in our community, we do that now, but its going to give us a greater sending capacity to be able to do that."
The demolition will start on the external part of the building later this week. The pastor hopes it will be complete Spring of 2017.