Grace Fellowship renovating historic sanctuary

Grace Fellowship Church is renovating its historic sanctuary on 4th Avenue North in Clanton.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

Grace Fellowship Church is renovating its historic sanctuary on 4th Avenue North in Clanton.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Grace Fellowship Church in Clanton is renovating its sanctuary, which has been used as a meeting place for believers since the year 1900.

“We started talking about this before I came on staff,” said Pastor Kevin Corley. “We had filled up the existing building; it was bursting at the seams.”

Corley came on board at the church in June of 2015 as senior pastor, and was associate pastor before that. He said the church has been talking about this renovation for five or six years now, and has been raising funds for about three.

“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we expand this historic building?’” said Corley. “Raising funds without incurring debt was important to our congregation.”

The church weighed their options, and due to the boundaries of their lot, the congregation agreed that renovating the existing space to make more room would be the best option.

To renovate the sanctuary and make more space, the church needed to move the offices to another building. Luckily, the lot and house next to the church became available for purchase. The body agreed to buy the house and use it as an office space and have classes in it as well.

According to Corley, renovating the house for use took some time, too. Now that the house is ready, the renovations for the sanctuary are underway and are expected to be finished in February.

The process has been a few years in the making, and the church is excited to see it all coming together.

“We see the renovation of the sanctuary as the culmination of phase one,” said Corley.

Grace Fellowship Church will meet at 11 a.m. on Sundays in the Helen E. Parrish Activity Center at First United Methodist Church in Clanton. Corley said he is thankful to the leadership and the church body at FUMC for letting his congregation use their facilities during this time.

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