The Daily Southerner
Tarboro Church of God dedicated its new 908 W. Saint James St. sanctuary to God Saturday evening in a spirit-filled service.
The crowd of 192 assembled in the sanctuary rose to their feet, raised their hands in the air, clapped and gave praise to God for their new place of worship during the ceremony.
“It has taken a lot of people that we could come into this beautiful sanctuary today,” said Dr. O. Wayne Brewer, administrative bishop of Eastern North Carolina Church of God. “God has used every one of us.” But he gave the ultimate glory to God for the new sanctuary.
“It was the Lord Himself who hath done this,” he said. He preached to the congregation about “God’s hands,” explaining that everyone in the church has a different role, just as Moses and Joshua did in their leadership of the Israelites in Old Testament times.
“It’s not just one man or one woman. It takes every one of us,” he said. “We are all different, but we are all part of the hands of God.”
Bishop Samuel “Sammy” Wood, church pastor, recognized everyone who played a role in the opening of the new sanctuary, John Dew of Providence Bank for the building loan, and the builder.
“I honestly believe that God placed these men in our path,” Wood said. “God has a way.”
The service concluded with the choir lifting up their voices in the song of praise “This Is Your House.”
Tarboro Church of God’s new sanctuary is about twice the size of the church’s old 1954 sanctuary at 412 Shirley St., according to Wood.
“It seats 325, but will max out at about 450,” he said, noting the church has 5,000 square feet of property yet to add to the new building and plans to build a multipurpose/ family life center. The church continues to see growth.
“We took in 15 new members last Sunday,” Wood said.
“I’d like to see it continue to grow until we have to buy some more property,” said church deacon Paul Parrisher. Ultimately, he said he would like to see the church “continue to grow to be worldwide.” Wood said the church supports missionaries all over the world.
“This is the mission field here, even in this community. We want to continue reaching people for Christ,” Wood stated.
Parrisher said the church will continue to fulfill the Biblical mission of “reaching out to the homeless shelters, the rehab centers, people hurting and in need.”
Wood said the vision for the church was already in place when he became the church pastor eight years ago, following in father-in-law Haywood Preslar’s footsteps.
“My wife Meta felt like the Lord was speaking to her and that I would come and finish what her father had started,” Wood said. The church closed on the loan for the new sanctuary in the seventh month of the seventh year of Wood’s leadership as pastor, and at that time, church had raised $70,000 in donations. Wood took those numbers as a sign from God, as “seven” is the Biblical number of completion.