Historic Southern Pines Chapel now Church of the Advent 

The Southern Pines Chapel is now the Church of the Advent.

Southern Pines Chapel, located at 240 East New Hampshire Avenue in the historic district, is a beloved community chapel known to many.

In 2018, Kathy Virtue, a resident of Southern Pines, purchased the Southern Pines Chapel. The church was built in 1928.

According to a news release, God placed the desire to preserve this property as a church on the heart of Virtue, a director of a family-owned foundation focused on building churches, schools, orphan homes and medical clinics in Africa.

Just shy of five months ago, The Church of the Advent, a new Anglican church plant in Moore County, began renting the church in hopes of purchasing it. The hope was to purchase the property by July 1. This would take a miracle.

The priest, Fr. Michael McKinnon, and his family accepted a call to come to Moore County to plant a new church. McKinnon has been ordained for 28 years and has served for the past 18 years at a church in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

When he accepted the call, he had no people, building, or money. It was a leap of faith. That was over nine months ago. They presently have almost 30 members, raised over $100,000 in eight weeks, and now have their own church and property.

“We stepped out in faith, and every day has been like having a front-row seat to an unfolding miracle of God,” McKinnon said. “There have been numerous blessings, and we are so very thankful to God. One woman, who is not a member of our church family, shared, ‘I knew, through prayer years ago, that one day this church building and property would provide a home for an Anglican Church Plant.’”

McKinnon said, “I was blown away by her testimony. Five plus years ago, the idea of planting a new church in North Carolina was not even on my radar, but apparently, it was on God’s radar and part of His plan.”

Moore County is one the fastest growing counties in North Carolina, according to McKinnon. Yet, the county did not have a single Anglican church congregation of The Province of the Anglican Church in North America.

McKinnon has volunteered at times with the local food pantry and with Meals on Wheels, is an active member of the Southern Pines Rotary Club, serves as a chaplain to the Southern Pines Fire Department, and is a member of the faculty and serves as dean of students for All Saints Christian Academy, in Cameron, a private Christian school/co-op.

McKinnon believes it is important for a priest to live in and serve his community. He said, “I used to serve in Young Life. They have a saying, ‘Earn the right to be heard.’ That is, get involved, love those in need, before you speak.”

The Church of the Advent offers Holy Communion every Sunday at 11 a.m. and every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. For a full schedule, or if you have any questions, please note the following contact information: THECHURCHOFTHEADVENT.COM or call 910-585-4305. 

Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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