Trailhead Church in Graham hosted its grand opening last weekend, revealing years of extensive renovations that brought new life to a historic mill.
Located at 615 W. Harden St., the former mill was built in the 1930s and ceased operations in 2002, according to Executive Pastor Dave deBlecourt. Trailhead Church purchased the property in 2018 and completed extensive renovations to restore the facility.
“For like a year we were doing demolition because the building was full of all kinds of stuff,” deBlecourt said. “In 2019, we started construction in full. … Things slowed down during COVID so it took a little longer than expected.”
DeBlecourt said there were many obstacles throughout the process, but with the help of volunteers and donated efforts, the church’s new design came to life.
“With the help of Rehab Builders Inc., the general contractors responsible for the restoration of nearby Oneida Mill (Graham) and White Furniture Company (Mebane), and thousands of volunteer hours from both church and community members, the site has been fully upfitted for modern use with careful attention being paid to maintaining the historic nature of the building, including restoring the original flooring and re-using original materials for decoration and structural renovations throughout the facility,” a press release from the church said.
Among the historical elements still represented in the church is a significant amount of original woodwork which was reused for the stairs, sanctuary floor, and wall decor.
“From the moment we got it, we walked through and thought this is really unique. One of the things we love is being able to bring it back to life because it has been a part of the community for such a long time,” he said. “We had people here on Sunday who said my aunt worked here or my mom or lots of stories like that.”
On Sunday, the church welcomed visitors to its grand opening service, offering tours, live entertainment and more.
“Over these last couple of years, we’ve met so many people who have a personal connection with this place,” said Josh Gresham, senior pastor of Trailhead Church. “Over the course of almost 100 years, it was a huge part of life for thousands of people in this area. That’s one of the reasons we were so excited to bring it back to life, and welcome the community back into the space.”
Trailhead Church was originally founded in 2008 and moved into Graham in 2010. Among the church’s previous locations is the renovated space next to the Graham Cinema on Main Street which serves as the youth center.
Services in the new facility began in January, but the grand opening event was delayed until now.
“We love Graham. It has been such a joy to grow together with this community, and to be able to contribute, in more than one place, to the revitalization of our city,” Gresham said.
Sunday services will be held in the church at 9 and 11 a.m. and services are livestreamed. Kids programming is also available at the 9 a.m. service.
To learn more about Trailhead Church, visit trailhead.church.
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Elizabeth Pattman is the trending topics reporter for the Times-News in Burlington, covering business, COVID-19 and all things trending. Contact Elizabeth (she/her) at [email protected] I’m also available on social media @EPattmanTN on Twitter or @burlingtontimesnews on Instagram.