Courtland church to be dedicated

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The new Courtland Baptist Church will be dedicated during a 10:30 a.m. Sunday service. -- SUBMITTED

COURTLAND—For the first time in five years, there’s enough space for the members of Courtland Baptist Church to join for one service.

The Rev. Tommy Speight is pleased, yet concerned about this Sunday’s 10:30 a.m., Oct. 24 service, when the new church, which includes a more than 400-seat sanctuary, will be dedicated. He is expecting a capacity crowd.

“We never had room to do that before (have one Sunday service), and we may not have room this time,” Speight said Wednesday.

Calling the construction of the $1.7 million church an effort by the “whole congregation,” Speight noted that members contributed more than $1.1 million for the building.

“We are very blessed,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming. God has come through in an extraordinary way. He surprised everybody.”

The church at 22264 Main St. is across from the Southampton County Administration Building. In addition to the sanctuary, the new building has a 400-plus seat fellowship hall, commercial kitchen, nursery suite, choir room and rest rooms.

The firm Rick Jack Design of Leicester, N.C, designed the 15,600-square-foot building, which has a steeple that rises 62 feet from the ground.

The more than 500-member congregation, which has regular Sunday attendance of 200 to 300, had worshipped in a church across the street from the new building. The sanctuary seated about 160, said Jamie Weist, a professional engineer and member of Courtland Baptist, who donated his time to do the site design work and plans.

“Every Sunday, it got a little more crowded,” Weist said. “We had to run two services for the past two years.”

The early service was more contemporary and the later more traditional.

The new church was estimated to cost $1.9 million, but volunteer labor and donations of materials brought the cost down, Weist said.

“Our folks caught the vision, and they have worked together,” Speight said. “They have given generously, and so it is not only a big thing for our church, but for the community.”

Even with a bigger sanctuary, Weist said he understands the two Sunday services will continue.

“We feel like we were reaching different people with different music and different programs,” he said.

The old church will be used for Sunday school, Bible study and other activities.