It has been some time in coming. But work is now underway on a proposed multi-use building that has long been in the offing at Graham Presbyterian Church.
Steve Braswell, the pastor at Graham Presbyterian, acknowledged that his congregation’s vision for this new Community Life Center has had to overcome innumerable obstacles, ranging from fundraising challenges to supply-chain disruptions and the coronavirus pandemic.
“But now we’re full steam ahead,” Braswell added in an interview Monday. “We had the groundbreaking on December 11…and we hope to be finished in about a year.”
According to plans that church has filed with the city of Graham, the new community life center will add about 10,800 square feet of floor space to a pair of now-vacant lots that the church owns next to its historic sanctuary along West Harden Street. County property records indicate that the church originally acquired this land in two stages – with the easternmost lot purchased in 2011, followed by the second tract in 2016.
Braswell notes that this new facility will ultimately serve a wide range of functions for the congregation of Graham Presbyterian Church.
“It will have a gymnasium, a multi-purpose room, and a stage so we can have worship services as well as other productions,” the church’s pastor explained. “It will also have a full-scale commercial kitchen and four classrooms.”
Braswell went on to emphasize that, in the long run, the hope is that this new building will bring people together in ways that are not always possible through a weekly church service.
“We’re calling it a ‘Community Life Center’ rather than a ‘Family Life Center,’” he added, “because the word ‘community,’ to me, means that we want the Graham community to make use of it and we also want to build community.”