12/13/04 — Church headquarters nears completion

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Church headquarters nears completion

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on December 13, 2004 1:59 PM

A $2.5 million headquarters building for the Southern District Convocation should be completed by March on Oak Forest Road in Goldsboro.

Bishop Harry L. Cohen, vice president of the Southern District Convocation, said the 32,761-square-foot building will replace the current headquarters on Gulley Street, which was built in 1940. It will also house the United Holy Church of America.

United Holy Church of America

News-Argus/Kaye Nesbit

Construction began in March for a $2.5 million headquarters building for the Southern District Convocation on Oak Forest Road in Goldsboro.

He said the United Christian College will still be on Gulley Street until it can be attached to the new building or in its vicinity.

The Southern District Convocation is a segment of the United Holy Church of America Inc. The church is divided into 17 districts, and the southern district is the largest, he said. The district started in eastern North Carolina, and from that point, all of the churches that joined the United Holy Church of America became a part of the district.

When the church spread toward New York and California, those that had united in this area remained part of the district. It has its mid-year conference in February when all of the churches in the district gather.

The next mid-year conference will be held on Gulley Street because the new building will not be completed yet. The major conference is in September.

Phase One of the new building will have a seating capacity of 1,700, which is around 700 additional seats. Phase Two will increase the seating to 2,300. The building will have some office space, but will be used primarily as a sanctuary, he said.

The building will eventually have a balcony on the second level as part of the second phase, which will seat around 700, he said.

Church members requested that the newly elected district president, Bishop Ralph E. Love Sr., move forward on the building, which will have most of the seating on the same level, he said. The district also needed a new building and additional space for its growing membership.

Cohen said no services will be held in the building until late August. He is not sure when the second phase will be completed.

J.H. Batten of Walkertown, N.C., is building the new center, and construction began in March. He said other organizations will be able to use the building.