Starting soon, ground will be breaking for a new site of worship in Warsaw.
After recent town council meetings and a public comment session, Rappahannock Church of Christ is awaiting the final approval to move to their 38-acre property on the corner of Scott Town Road and the Rte. 3 bypass in town
The popular church, which has a weekly attending average of over 400 parishioners who can choose between one of two Sunday services, has long outgrown its 3.5 acre parcel near Haynesville.
“We have a need for worship seating, in addition we are packed out as far as educational space, including Sunday school and parking. We joke that we have the worst parking on Northern Neck. If it is a muddy day we have problems,” said Senior Pastor Walker Gaulding in a recent interview. “We are totally out of room here, we have a very small cemetery and that has become an immediate need for us.”
According to Gaulding, he was devastated when he recently had to tell a long-time and devoted parishioner that their family member could not be buried at the church due to capacity limitations.
“That is tough to say to someone who has been coming here,” Gaulding said. “This is not theoretical, it is an actual need.”
Starting in October of 2012, the church began a fundraising effort. To date they have raised a total of $580,230 in funds.
“We are looking at probably $4.8M to build the whole project, from site work to carpet, that’s a turnkey job. Gaulding said, adding that the first order of business was to establish a new cemetery on the corner of the grounds furthest from Scott town Road.
“Initially, the cemetery entrance will not be anything fancy, it will be an access road near the water tower and once the whole project is finished there will be a more permanent road,” Gaulding said, adding that the new church facility is not expected to be built in the near future.
“We’d love to put a shovel in the ground immediately and if something happens, and money magically rolls, in we are ready to go, but realistically three years from now is what we are looking at as our realistic scenario for the new church,” he said.
Walker added that he has enjoyed the working relationship between the church and the town, noting “council members have been very encouraging and cooperative.