Crossroads Lutheran plans to break new ground this fall

dthackham@fortmilltimes.comJuly 17, 2013 

White, 30, is in her third year of seminary school at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C.

DAVID THACKAM — dthackham@fortmilltimes.com

— By the time Crossroads Lutheran Church intern Annie White finishes her third year of seminary school next summer, there’s likely to be a much larger congregation for the Indian Land church than when she started this July.

Pastor Richard Carter says that by September, Crossroads expects to begin work on another addition — a 4,000-square-foot outreach and worship center.

Carter and White, 30, are part of a tag-teaming duo ministering at both Crossroads and Amazing Grace Lutheran, in Waxhaw, N.C. White began her duties as vicar on July 1.

“It’s been awesome so far,” she said Tuesday. “I met Pastor [Richard] in February and I felt like this was a good match.”

Crossroads and Amazing Grace, which began their official ministries in 2005 and 2009, respectively, are relatively new churches with growing congregations. Most of Crossroads’ 60 chairs are filled each Sunday morning, even during summer, Carter says. The natural solution is now to expand the church itself.

“It most definitely will be a help to us,” said Carter, “and it lends itself to make more space for us to serve the community in a number of ways using our current building.”

That service may be for a variety of community groups around Indian Land, from AA meetings to office space. The new building will be funded by a combination of loans from various Lutheran organizations and a proposed challenge goal of $150,000 from churchgoers in a two-year capital campaign.

Crossroads operates from a modest building on Shelley Mullis Road, but Carter says his congregation feels not having a physical church would be a turn-off.

“For them, it’s a deterrent to not have a building,” White said. “We don’t want people to drive by and not see us because it’s not familiar to them. For the size of our congregation, we’ve had remarkable fundraising so far.”

At this point, Crossroads is working with Lancaster County to begin building the site as soon as possible, which might start “any minute,” according to White.

While the sanctuary is being constructed, White faces the upcoming year of ministry with Carter, who will be evaluating her throughout the year. Her evaluations will go back to Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, which will help her apply for candidacy for ordination. She’ll be preaching her first sermon at Crossroads at 11 a.m. this Sunday, July 21.

“Day to day, she’ll do whatever the church needs,” Carter said, “whether that’s visitations, funerals, preparation for sermons, teaching, all of that is important for ministry.”

“Your schedule’s never stagnant,” White said. “It’s an evolving thing, always meeting new opportunities and new people. Hopefully, if all things go as planned, I’ll take my own first call after I graduate [in the summer of 2015].”

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