The New Holland Mennonite Church is located in a small town south of I-20, midway between Columbia, SC and Augusta, GA. The founder of the church is Sam Mast. He and his family moved here in 1986. Sam was involved in prison ministry when he first moved here. He continued to spend more and more time with this endeavor and eventually became a state chaplain. By getting others involved, they were able to form Carolina Chaplaincy Program. Sam has since retired from prison ministry but his legacy still lives on. Many others are still very active in the prison ministry. Some of the other young people and their sponsors help with an inner-city mission and bring some of the children to church.
Sam and his family began having church services in their living room on Sundays and where joined by two other Mennonite families. When they outgrew the home, Sam and the other men built a garage. They used the garage as a school and a church until a more permanent structure could be built. They were able to purchase some land 4 1/2 miles south of I-20 along Highway 39; where they built a metal building. This building served as a school during the week and a church on Sundays and Wednesday evenings. By 1997, there had been enough money saved to build a permanent sanctuary. We continue to use the other building for a school, Sunday school classrooms, and for carry-ins. We wanted to be able to provide for wedding receptions and the annual Christmas program/banquet, so we built a gym to accommodate for these events. We are still currently working on the kitchen.
We usually have around 100 people in attendance every Sunday. They are made up of 28 families and all are under the age of 75. Many of the parishioners are young families with small children. Most of the men are involved in the construction industry. Some of their fields range from excavation and site preparation to trim carpentry. We also have some contractors who guide the process from beginning to end. We have a family that owns and operates a restaurant; and a few men haul storage barns. But, unfortunately, we have no farmers among us.
God has been so gracious to grant us health as well as spiritual blessings. We have had no deaths in our church, thanks be to God. Our church family is a great blessing to all of us.