2017-11-10 / News

Columbia Presbyterian Church relocates to North Main Corridor

Contributed by Jeff Payne, Elder, Columbia Presbyterian Church

The War Mouth Restaurant, Cottontown Brew Lab, Indah Coffee, and Circa Barbershop welcomed a new addition to their emerging commercial cluster between North Main and Sumter Street. Columbia Presbyterian Church ( CPC) opened its doors to its new worship center at the corner of Sumter and Franklin Streets on October 22.

The building housing CPC dates to 1941 when it opened as the “New and Modern Home” for the Vise Refrigeration Company. Over the years it saw a variety of light industrial uses until the congregation of CPC partnered with the Cason Development Group and Catalyst Architects to renovate the space into a new home.

The four- year- old congregation with over 250 members was meeting at the Tapp’s Art Center on Main Street and had been looking for a more permanent location in downtown Columbia area for over a year.

Interestingly, CPC’s move to the North Main Street corridor marks the return of a church to the area. In the late 1930s the Greek Orthodox community— the forerunners of today’s Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral congregation— purchased a wooden frame home as their worship center located across the intersection from CPC’s new location.

The Orthodox congregation relocated to Calhoun Street in 1949 when they built a larger brick sanctuary, but the Hellenic Orthodox School continued at the Sumter Street site for many years afterwards.

CPC’s new home features a large open gathering space that was the former showroom and retail floor for Vise Refrigeration. The space, featuring the original unique arched wooden roof trusses, was updated to a modern industrial loft design. Sunday school rooms for children were carved out of the remaining space, and the two-level attached warehouse was completely refurbished into a single-level contemporary worship space.

The church has already established close working relationships with its commercial neighbors. On October 14, Indah Coffee sponsored a block party welcoming its new neighbor, and Indah Coffee is offered in the church’s Gathering Space on Sunday morning.

Says CPC Senior Pastor David Gentino, 33, “We are thrilled to be part of this up and coming section of the North Main Street corridor. We want to join hands with our neighboring businesses to be a blessing to a community where most of our membership lives, works, and plays. You’ll find our people caffeinated, barbered, and fed at all hours hereabouts.”

For more information contact: Jeff Payne- Elder, Columbia Presbyterian Church, at 803-331- 2459, or email jlplexsc@gmail.com.

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