The former First Church of Christ, Scientist on East New Hampshire Avenue (no, not Scientology — just Google it) has been bought by a local family who wants to make sure it remains a religious facility. It’s being renamed Southern Pines Chapel, and reimagined as a place for ceremonies like weddings and celebrations of life.
Kathy Virtue and her family, who have lived here for 27 years, bought the 90-year-old church this month. Kathy is president of a sports-marketing firm and also helps run a Christian foundation that works to build churches, schools and clinics in Kenya. It’s the first time her foundation has used funds to purchase a church in the U.S. And yes, Virtue is her real name.
“These are the kind of buildings we want to save; this is what makes Southern Pines,” she says. “I felt in my sprit that we needed to save this old church, so I bought it with no plan.”
The chapel is in remarkably good shape, but Virtue plans to fill it with antiques and add a garden in the back which will be open to the public. Bookings could be available by August. There’s no website or Facebook yet, but you can call 910-692-6002 for information.
And if you’re looking for members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, they now hold services at the Southern Pines Civic Club.
This article appeared in the Thursday, June 28 issue of The Sway. Read the whole issue by clicking here.