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      Walterboro church holds first service in new building

      By Ava Wilhiteawilhite@abcnews4.com

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) On Palm Sunday, the congregation of Great Swamp Baptist Church is sitting in new pews, looking at new windows enjoying their first service inside a brand new building.

      "It's been a long, hard road but it's been worth it. But what I say and this is the whole deal is, I thank God for using me," said Donald Crosby, chair of the churches building committee.

      Their 19-month task came to an end Sunday. In May of 2011, Great Swamp burned down. The only thing saved from the fire was the pulpit furniture.

      "You know my heart fell. I mean it was just devastating, and the tears that flowed that night - everybody out there was crying," said Pastor Jack Padgett. "It's almost like having a death you know, it affected so many people and was so hurtful it's almost like a death."

      Padgett told the congregation their new church is proof they are faithful and God took care of their needs on multiple occasions, such as the time when Carpenters for Christ drove from Alabama to help build a frame.{}

      "I thank them very deeply. It was just miraculous they got the work done in the time they did," said Crosby. {}

      The new church includes multiple classrooms, a fellowship hall and the sanctuary that now holds 200 people.

      "It's just great to be home," said Padgett. {}

      A dedication ceremony is planned for May.{} A few of the volunteers from Alabama are expected to return.

      The new church cost about $1 million, half of which was raised by community donations.

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