Anglican church celebrates new facility

A steeple now tops the skyline in Sweetwater Center, a neighborhood more familiar with warehouses and business equipment, and it's a welcome arrangement for The Church of the Holy Trinity.

The Anglican congregation, based at 160 Merovan Drive, held a dedication, consecration and ribbon-cutting on Jan. 10, celebrating completion of the church's new facilities, including a steeple and added land, for a total of 5 acres.

The Rev. Rob Hartley, Holy Trinity's rector, noted that his congregation bought its current lot in 2010 and moved up from the "shoebox" where the congregation got its start.

"We bought it, renovated it and moved in, within a short period of time," he said, referring to the current facility. "In the process, we've been beautifying the outside. This place is just an old warehouse, but it's about 10,000 square feet. We figure we can grow to about 200 (members) here, and that's perfect for us."

The steeple, in memory of former Holy Trinity members George and Esther Howe, was funded by their children: Virginia Folk, Phylis Kirkland, Pat Barfuss and George Howe.

The land, Hartley noted, is a memorial to Mary Fayne Glotfely ("a friend of the congregation") and her husband, Charles.

The church's members feel called to serve people around the I-20 Exit 5 area, Hartley said. "This is going to be a growing area at some point. It's just got to be, and we look forward to serving them when the people show up, and introducing them to God."

Years down the road, Hartley said he can envision the new facility becoming a youth center or community center, and having the congregation set up its main building across the street on the newly donated land.

The church's neighbors include Shealy Electrical Wholesalers and, across U.S. 25, a massive SRP Federal Credit Union facility.

Mitch Carter, a longtime church member, laughingly offered a comment on the new steeple. "We needed something, because from the road, nobody can recognize this as a church, and now it makes all the difference in the world. We're back here and we ain't selling lawn mowers."