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Growing St. Luke Parish buys land to build a larger church in Mint Hill
MINT HILL — It's taken four years to find just the right location, but St. Luke Church has finally purchased the land it needs to expand and meet the needs of the growing parish just east of Charlotte. The best news for parishioners is that the new site is close to the current location within the Town of Mint Hill in Mecklenburg County.
"Our goal has always been to find an excellent piece of property close to our present location and large enough to handle all our future needs," said Father Paul Gary, pastor of St. Luke, in a recent letter to parishioners. "The committee found this property only three miles away, just north of us off I-485. It is located on N.C. Highway 218, also called Fairview Road."
The deal totaled $1,000,000 for the 31-acre tract.
The current church building was constructed in 1993, six years after the parish was established. At that time, there were only 250 registered families and the parish was considered to be "out in the country." With the significant growth that has taken place in the Charlotte metropolitan area, the church was expanded in 1997 to accommodate the rising numbers of parishioners, and a Family Life Center was also built.
The opening of the I-485 beltway in 2005 brought with it an increased population in the Mint Hill area, and the present church with 1,400 registered families has outgrown its current worship and meeting spaces.
"There was no more room for us to expand because environmental buffers were created to protect an endangered species, the Carolina Heelsplitter Mussel," explained Father Gary. "This restricted us to four of our 11 acres."
So the parish organized committees, hired architects and conducted "town hall"-style meetings to discuss the growing needs of the parish.
"It was decided that the best thing to do was to move and find a piece of property that would answer all our needs for a hundred years. The new property helps us to prepare for the future when the Town of Mint Hill rezones this area and the developers build the mall across the street," Father Gary added.
St. Luke's building committee will host meetings this month to discuss a spring capital campaign to raise $850,000 for the land and plan another campaign in the future to build the church, which they hope will begin within the next three to five years.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
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