Tabernacle expanding onto new ground

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

On Saturday afternoon, members of the Tabernacle Christian Church will dig a shovel into the ground at 2500 East Washington Street. An estimated 14 months from now, they hope to put the finishing touches on the 42,000 square-foot establishment.

&uot;We’d like to move in early 2006,&uot; said Rev. Dr. Carlton Upton, the fifth pastor in the church’s 87-year history. The building will have a new sanctuary, administrative offices, classrooms, recreational areas, a fellowship hall, a kitchen, and other things.

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&uot;We’ve outgrown the area where we are, parking lot-wise,&uot; said Upton, whose church is now at 1401 E. Washington St., &uot;and we don’t have enough classrooms. The learning centers are often filled to capacity, forcing classes to be held in the balcony, kitchen, hall, and other places.

&uot;This is God doing a new thing,&uot; Upton said. &uot;We look at the entire holistic life of a parishioner; their psychological, spiritual and physical needs are what a church tries to meet.&uot;

Every Sunday, the church’s music department provides a series of gospel, spiritual and anthem offerings, and the dance ministry has been a part of the church since last year.

&uot;We have an awesome music department that appeals to all facets of music,&uot; said Upton. &uot;It’s for the young, the middle age, and the elderly.&uot;

But just because the church will head down the street, the building will stick around.

&uot;The existing church will be sold,&uot; Upton said, &uot;and we’ve already had some inquiries.&uot;