To some passersby, St. Andrews Baptist Church has the look of a modern-day Noah’s ark, albeit an ark turned upside-down.
The Rev. Ronald D. “Dee” Vaughan hears that characterization often, although he said that wasn’t the original intention when the church was first built in 1980.
“Was there any conscious decision to make that building look like an inverted ark?” he said. “The answer is no.”
The church at 230 Bush River Road is undergoing a $750,000 makeover that includes installation of a more efficient heating and air conditioning system, new lighting and a brand new, hand-hammered shingle roof.
Inside, the sanctuary’s high-vaulted ceiling swoops toward a peak, which has meant workers on the outside have been engaged in some highly skilled balancing work.
“It looks like they are hanging from the sky,” said Sharon King, St. Andrews’ minister for congregational development. “They are tethered in all kinds of ways.”
The renovations will double the amount of lighting in the sanctuary and make the church more energy efficient, Vaughan said. SCE&G has estimated the church could save about $25,000 annually in utility costs.
Vaughan is also happy to have a leak-free building.
“If the ark had leaked as much as this (old) roof did, we wouldn’t have had many animals inside,” he laughed.