Cedar Creek Church is commemorating two decades of fellowship this Sunday.
The church will hold two services at the USC Aiken Convocation Center so that members from all three campuses can gather together to celebrate its 20th birthday.
Cedar Creek Church held its first public worship service in a rented daycare center on Pine Log Road on Palm Sunday in 1993. A year before, founding pastor Richard Swift started the church in his living room with five couples, said current Pastor Phillip Lee.
“It's an amazing story. It's God's story, and we've been blessed to be a part of it,” Lee said.
Now, the church is up to more than 3,000 people, meeting at three different locations on Banks Mill Road, on W. Columbia Avenue in Batesburg-Leesville and at the Family Y on Trolley Line Road which opened in early 2012.
The first facility was constructed on Banks Mill Road in late 1995 with a worship center that could hold 350 people as well as a classroom building for children and the youth, said Lee.
In 2007, the Banks Mill facility expanded to a 1,500 seat worship center and the Batesburg-Leesville campus opened in 2008.
Lee and his family moved down to Aiken from Columbia in 1999 after they were introduced to Cedar Creek Church. Lee was associate pastor until he became senior pastor in 2007 when Swift retired.
“We are absolutely blessed to be a part of the Aiken community,” Lee said. “It's been a great place to raise our family, and the biggest blessings of our lives is to be a part of this community and to be a part of this church family.”
Cedar Creek's mission is to connect people, no matter where they are spiritually, with God, Lee said. The church offers a more laid-back atmosphere, Lee said. It's not out of the ordinary to see Cedar Creek churchgoers in casual clothing. The services include temporary music to accompany relevant, applicable messages from the Bible, Lee added.
The church also has a global outreach program which has sent out more than 400 people overseas to drill wells and translate the Bible in different countries. The church also has done work in East Africa to help provide education to girls in a village and is in the process of providing a pharmacy with two trained pharmacists.
“We're convinced that God has blessed us not just for our sakes but for us to be a blessing to others,” Lee said.
Sunday's services will have a party atmosphere, include cupcakes, celebratory worship music and other fun family and kid friendly things to celebrate Cedar Creek's 20th birthday. The church will share some memories and a brief documentary of Cedar Creek story.
Lee said everyone in the community is invited to attend.