The First United Pentecostal Church of Anderson, South Carolina was established in September of 1987 by Rev. Michael Crocker. Services were first held in an old church building at 101 Gilmer Street, and in living rooms.
In January of 1989, the first revival was held, and several were added to the church. By Easter of that year the church had approximately 15 members. This growing church then purchased a storefront building in May of 1989, and everyone was thrilled to have a more permanent home. As the church continued to experience growth and revival new facilities were soon needed.
In 1991, the storefront property was sold, and in July the congregation moved into the newly purchased building at 2608 Belhaven Road. Many fond memories are held by members of the eight years the congregation worshipped on Belhaven Road. Once again, growth prompted the congregation to sell the building on Belhaven Road and purchase land on Highway 29 South in 1999.
The church used an elementary school gymnasium until the new 11,000 square foot facility was completed in December 2000. Carrying forward the vision for souls, a Spanish daughter work was established in October of 2001. This daughter work has now grown to approximately fifty members and in July of 2006, became an autonomous work with Pastor Rafael Molina. Iglesia Pentecostal Unida de Anderson has now purchased one of the buildings on the church property in which to house their growing congregation. We are honored that this daughter work has grown go quickly and is now an autonomous work. We are excited about their future and will continue to work closely with them as we grow side by side on our beautiful 10 acre campus.
In April of 2005, after 17 years of faithful service Pastor Crocker resigned the pastorate. In May of 2005 Rev Edward and Linda Goddard assumed the Pastorate of First United Pentecostal Church of Anderson, SC. Through a series of God orchestrated situations, the Goddard’s came to Anderson after serving for 26 years in Canada. The Goddard’s came from a nurturing and loving background, where they had helped restore and heal many congregations and turn them into successful churches. Their mentoring spirit was a much needed addition at the time they took over. They stepped into a church which had a wonderful foundation, but had been devastated by some circumstances of life. The next six years, were years of healing and bringing encouragement and faith back into the assembly. The Lord kept the church miraculously and continued to give prophetic promise concerning its future.
In March of 2008 the congregation voted to change the name of the church to Sanctuary of Praise, a United Pentecostal Church. This was to reflect a fresh vision of a forward looking church. The Lord blessed the church during that time and kept His hand upon the assembly. He also was preparing and maturing the assembly for greater things to come. Rev. Goddard is not only a great teacher and preacher, but he commits himself to the needs of the people. He is a visionary, and desires to see the church grow both spiritually and physically. He has gone the extra mile for this church to achieve bigger and greater goals!
In January of 2011 Rev. Goddard, feeling the need for help, approached Bro & Sis Russell Drake to see if they would be willing to come home. They had successfully been pastoring in Seneca, SC, but Anderson was their home church. They agreed to come and in February of 2011 Bro Drake was voted in as the Pastor and Brother Goddard became the Senior Pastor of the Church. A succession plan was put into place and the church has continued to thrive under this new leadership team.
Rev. Goddard had been talking to the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Anderson off and on since April of 2010. They were interested in selling their property and finding something more adaptable to their vision. Sanctuary of Praise was looking for larger facilities which would also accommodate their vision. After much discussion and negotiation, the two churches traded properties in July of 2011 with Sanctuary of Praise giving Harvest Baptist $23,000 difference! We now have wonderful facilities that are appraised at 1.3 million. This is a phenomenal blessing to our church in that we doubled our equity in one day.
We now have a 500 plus seat sanctuary, 22 classrooms, offices, full basement, full size gym, fellowship hall and two brick homes on the property. Since moving in late July of 2011 we have had phenomenal services, many visitors and new members in the church.
In April of 2012 twenty-seven new members were added to the church at the annual business meeting. We are enjoying our new facilities to their fullest and are expecting great things in the future. Official dedication service for the new facility was held on May 26, 2012. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!