Church hopes to be spiritual home for neighborhood in need - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Church hopes to be spiritual home for neighborhood in need

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Word of God Church opened at its new location off Broad River Rd. Word of God Church opened at its new location off Broad River Rd.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

What was once a strip mall off Broad River Rd. is now a 2,500-seat church sanctuary.

Eric Davis is the pastor of Word of God Church and Ministries. The congregation cut the ribbon on its new church Sunday.

"It's exciting," he says.  "It's been a long time coming."

WIS was there nearly two years ago as crews began renovations to the 138,000 square-foot complex.

"We've put a lot of heart and effort, work, labor, blood, sweat and tears and prayers into it," says Davis.

And money.  The project cost $5 million. Davis says the financing was  supported by loans and faith-filled members.

He believes he's following God's plan by moving to this section of Broad River Rd. near Dutch Square Mall. It's an area, he says, that suffered greatly from dilapidation and decay.

"It's known to have gang issues, crime issues, prostitutes, drugs, a number of things we feel we are capable of ministering to," says Davis.

Davis says evangelists will penetrate the community selling salvation. Sunday's message to the congregation was to change lives in the neighborhood.

"You have to find value in rebuilding something," he says.

In addition to missionary work, the church will have a print shop, restaurant, insurance agency, employment assistance office and a park on its property -- developments Davis hopes will help the area regain it's potential.

"Our prayer is that other churches and organizations will see the value in this community as well," says Davis. 

Using a spiritual investment anyone can buy.

"I believe if we all put our efforts together, we can bring this community back."

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