Aiken has a church that has been trying to make its mark on the area for more than a year.
Open Hearts United Methodist Church, 3510 Trolley Line Road, was started in June 2014 by the Rev. Pattie E. Gordon, the pastor of Open Hearts Church.
“There was a congregational development director who asked me in 2014 if I was interested in starting a church in Aiken, and I of course said yes,” said Gordon. “We came to Aiken in June 2014 and started by sharing a space with Charles Wesley United Methodist Church. So, in the beginning, it was both two different church groups in one location.”
Gordon said, after a year of having to work together between two separate congregations, Bishop Lewis Jonathan Holston of Charles Wesley United Methodist Church, gave Gordon and the Open Hearts Church the building in June 2015.
“We were given this gift that has allowed us to grow and be our own congregation,” Gordon said. “We don’t want to be a church governed by just one denomination. We are a different kind of church. Open Hearts Church is more contemporary than most, where people of different races with different ideas and different views are welcome. We just want to encounter people’s hearts.”
Open Hearts Church works closely with Eden Ministries in Aiken in order to offer piano lessons with music ministry and a camp for young people called Building Opportunities to Overcome Temptations, or B.O.O.T Camp, said Gordon.
The B.O.O.T Camp will begin in January and meet every third Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Open Hearts Church also will begin offering a women’s ministry called Sista 2 Sista, which will meet every second Thursday of each month, Gordon explained.
“Sista 2 Sista is where a group of women will come together once a month and just sit and talk,” said Gordon. “We will discuss issues of women today and have a spiritual walk together.”
Gordon said everyone and anyone is welcome to join Open Hearts Church congregation. She said the church is looking for choir members and more members to join the Open Hearts Church Worship Leader Emma Denny on Sundays.
“If there is somebody out there seeking a place, we are holding a seat for you,” Gordon said.
Open Hearts Church offers a service at 8 a.m. every second and third Sunday of each month.
If anyone is interested in joining or knowing more about Open Hearts Union Methodist Church, call 803-645-7694.
Tripp Girardeau is the crime and court reporter with the Aiken Standard.