By Tess Malijenovsky
After 10 years of congregating in the gymnasium of Coosaw Elementary School, Tidal Creek Fellowship, a nondenominational Christian church, recently moved to its new, permanent 20-acre home at 290 Brickyard Point South on Lady’s Island. The number of churchgoers has nearly double since the move, what volunteer Patricia Powers calls “a modern miracle given trends in church attendance.”
According to Pastor David Holland, a smaller percentage of people go to church in Beaufort County than any other county in South Carolina. After being a minister for 17 years, Pastor Holland was inspired to start a church that had a different approach from traditional churches, one with a neutral environment in which everybody would feel welcomed. “We want to change the method, not the Christian message,” said Pastor Holland.
Plans for the construction of Tidal Creek Fellowship church were drawn five years ago, however it’s taken a few capital campaigns and help from the bank to finance Pastor Holland’s vision. Early February 2011, the church broke ground and its first Sunday service was March 4, 2012.
Architecturally, the new church was designed to make everybody, especially new churchgoers, feel comfortable by building an environment that was as contemporary and familiar as, for example, a coffee shop.
Walking through the doors, members step into an open lobby with flat screen TVs scrolling church information and with an offering of doughnuts and Fair Trade coffee. Three large screen panels display hymns and scripture during service so that everyone can easily and accessibly read from any seating arrangement. The intention was, not to discourage bringing in a bible, but to encourage new churchgoers who may not be familiar with navigating scripture. Lastly, the new Tidal Creek Fellowship church has a children’s area with an advanced security system, flat screen TVs for the video-driven curriculum and colorfully painted murals.
This weekend Tidal Creek Fellowship will welcome the public to its Grand Opening Celebration “Come as you are,” spiritually and physically (flip-flops and jeans won’t be shunned at this church). From 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, is the Community Children’s Carnival with jump houses, games and carnival treats. There will be tours of the new campus and WLFS will be broadcasting live.
Then at 4 p.m., catch the Community Celebration Service honoring the community partners and everyone else who made the dream of the church building a reality; followed by a reception in the Gathering Area at 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 1, hear the “Good News” based on scripture that delivers a message in a relevant style to all ages with services at 8, 9:30, and 11 a.m.