The old Bancroft school became a church on Saturday as the Family Worship Center of Orange dedicated the revamped building for the congregation.

The church organized on Feb. 9, 1997, and since that time has used a private home, a hotel conference room, a small church building and a rented facility to meet and worship.

Now, with a membership of 250 and growing, the church needed a larger space with room for future growth.

The old Bancroft Elementary School build was vacant and the West Orange-Cove school district placed the buildings and grounds for sale. Family Worship Center was able to place an acceptable bid on the property and became the owner of a 50,000 square foot facility on seven acres with paved parking.

The old “cafetorium” was remodeled into the sanctuary and the church made classrooms ready for use.

Church member Becky Dixon said, “We will not use the original kitchen; it is too close to the sanctuary. We are moving the kitchen into another part of the building. We have had two stoves donated and we will be having a fundraiser for the purchase of a large commercial grade refrigerator.”

After many hours of volunteer labor, the church became ready for use and the first service was held on Feb. 3.

Pastor Linda Story said, “We were meeting on bare concrete. The carpet manufacturer was in the process of moving after we had ordered our carpet. They had disassembled the carpet making machinery, but reassembled it and made our carpet and then resumed their moving operation.”

The ordered carpet was delivered and installed, a little more work was done and the facility is now complete.

The attendance at services is usually about 150.

The church is under the leadership of Senior Pastors A. W., (Tony), Story and Linda Story. Executive Pastors are Scott Story and Robin Story.

Pastor Tony Story is a graduate of Lutcher Stark High School, class of 1965. He and Linda have been married since 1969 and have three sons.

The church is at 2300 N. 41st Street in Pinehurst.

For information about the church and its activities, call 409-886-1100 or visit the website,