MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - St. Andrew's Church in Mount Pleasant held church services inside Mount Pleasant Academy Sunday, exactly one week after the church's Ministry Center was destroyed by a large fire.
Hundreds of people gathered for two morning services.
"The church is the people," St. Andrew's church member Patricia Morris said. "You can worship anywhere, and this is evidence of that."
The building's Ministry Center was deemed a total loss after last Sunday's fire. Firefighters responded to the church at approximately 3:30 a.m. that morning. The ministry center is a separate building from the old historic church building which was left unharmed by the fire.
After the smoke settled, leaders within the church began working with the Charleston County School District and administrators at Mount Pleasant Academy to find a temporary place of worship.
Rector Steve Wood said he was thankful that the school was so eager to reach out to help the church.
"It felt like the right thing," Mount Pleasant Academy Principal Kim Jackson said. "We are right around the corner from their school, and it didn't seem like there was any other thing to do. We just happened to be in the right place."
Sunday's church service was centered around themes of reflection, resilience and moving forward. Those messages rang loud in the ears of church members.
"The people came together to praise the Lord and say, 'Thank you,' for everything he's done for us," St. Andrew's Church Member Rene Miles said.
Wood said the generosity of Jackson and the rest of the staff at Mount Pleasant Academy helped comfort the church in its time of need.
"It really brought a great sense of peace to us and assurance that we're going to be okay," Wood said.
Wood said he understands the road to recovery, and to building a new worship center, will be long. But he remains confident that something good will come from this unfortunate situation.
"In the midst of devastation, we anticipate beauty to come out of this," Wood said.
The church will continue to have services in Mount Pleasant Academy until a new place of worship is built or identified.