Posted in projects on July 1, 2014 12:40 pm EDT

Expansion Facilitates Greater Community Connection

With membership growing and ministries increasing, a South Carolina Baptist church welcomes a 51,000-square-foot expansion.

Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. North Charleston, South Carolina. Photos courtesy of Butler.











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TAGS: architecture, collaboration, design,


By Church Designer Staff

Each week, more than 2,000 congregation members worship at the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church sanctuary — which until recently was limited to a seating capacity of 800 people. Mount Moriah serves members not only at Sunday morning services but also for Bible studies, youth and music ministries, and outreach initiatives.

With a rich, 120-year history in North Charleston, S.C., the Mount Moriah footprint reaches far beyond the church walls into the community. Bobbitt Design Build, a Butler Builder, was selected to execute the church’s decision to expand by adding a 2,000-seat sanctuary — and the expectations were high. “The request of congregation members was clear: They wanted a space to praise and worship Christ.” Deacon Eugene Lemmon explains.

"The request of congregation members was clear: They wanted a space to praise and worship Christ."

—Eugene Lemmon, Deacon, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church

Designing for the Future

Sunday morning services at Mount Moriah are offered at several times, with services at 8 and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, a children's service in the family life center, and a teen service in the fellowship hall. Because the influx of church members strained the limited seating capacity, the sanctuary could no longer accommodate all worshippers. So staff began showing services on a large video screen in the gymnasium of its family life center, which served as an overflow area.

All Are Welcome

The church sought to build a sanctuary that was architecturally appealing and appropriate for the prominent intersection of downtown North Charleston among restaurants, car dealerships and retail centers. It also was challenged to integrate design aesthetics of past additions to the church facility.

“To design for the future of Mount Moriah, it was important to not only establish a unique identity for our growing congregation but also to distinguish our church from area businesses,” Deacon Lemmon says. “All are welcome at our church. As such, we strove to create an environment that invited all community members to share in our worship experience.”  continued >>