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Design Creates Culture and Solves Problems

Day Four: Cross Community Church
Port Royal, South Carolina

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Cross Community Church, in Port Royal, South Carolina is a vibrant, gospel-centered church family that exists to preach the gospel and make disciples through a message of unapologetic truth, and a mission of unconditional love. One of the current challenges Cross Community has faced, is their lack of a permanent home. This church plant has a multi-generational congregation, and also reaches out to young families and the unchurched. They began meeting in a local high school, and then in 2018, they moved to their current, portable home—the local YMCA—where they’re maxing out their space.

Aspen Group and architectural partner, Felder & Associates, are working on a design solution to give Cross Community a new facility, with the church’s goal of having one permanent, single location for their church family. The team looked at several possible structural systems for the building, deciding to elevate the church on piles, dubbing it, “church on stilts.” This solution provides 10 feet of covered space under the building that can be utilized for kid’s ministry, small groups, or social events. This, combined with the exterior clapboard siding and awnings, allows the facility to harmonize with the Carolina coastal environment.

A large, outdoor ramp leads to the front entrance, and can double as additional gathering space, or be used as a worship or music venue. The 13,000 square foot facility will feature ample connection spaces, a comfortable café, administrative space, kid’s ministry space, and a bright, and welcoming worship venue.

The “tastefully modern” design of the space is one of the things Lead Pastor, Taylor Burgess, finds appealing. Being a multi-generational church, the design touches are a good mix of traditional and modern elements. “When you enter the building,” Taylor says, “the lobby has great connecting space, with a sort of coffee shop feel, so it’s not the “fellowship hall” of a more traditional environment, but it’s the “fellowship space,” where we can gather and enjoy conversation with one another. When you come into our space, whether you’re in your twenties or your eighties, there will be something you’re really drawn to, and the space communicates, ‘There’s a place for me here.’”

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