Peace Church, a congregation that has met for worship in the Lions Club Building on Hillandale Road since its organization eight years ago, is joining the ranks of Christian voices in the northern part of the county. This 50-member congregation has begun to worship in a new building located on an 8.3-acre site at 6114 Russell Road. Peace is Durham’s first Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
“Our name describes us well,” said Pastor James Banks. “The EPC is both evangelical and Presbyterian. We are evangelical in our zeal for the Gospel as well as evangelism, missions and living obediently as followers of Jesus.”
The building of this church is a story of sweat equity in which the congregation saved thousands of dollars by taking on the impossible and doing it themselves. The total cost of the project is in the area of $350,000, not including the cost of the land, which the church owns free and clear. The project has been completed without a commercial loan.
Several local contractors helped these inexperienced church builders, often giving the church a break and even donating services. The heating and air contractor, Mike Bowling, donated a 17-foot red cedar cross that stands at the top of the property.
In an unusual turn of events, before the drywall was installed, several members wrote Scripture verses and prayers on the studs of the walls. Scripture verses also have been painted in gold script over the sanctuary entry and exit in several rooms.
Before Christmas, an antique stained-glass window will be placed in the front of the sanctuary, Banks said. The church found the window, originally in a church in Revere, Mass., on eBay. When the seller learned of the church’s interest, she reduced the price.
“The building provides us with a full-time base of operations for the first time,” Banks said. “We hope it will serve as a sending place for our members to go and share Jesus’ love with others as well as a place where many may come to find peace with God.”
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