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St. Anthony's to dedicate sanctuary, altar

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It took about 30 months and a few bumps in the road but St. Anthony’s Anglican Church is poised to dedicate its sanctuary and altar on Oct. 6 with a Celebration of a New Ministry service.

The church, in Crab Orchard, includes parishioners from Roane County.

“The altar, altar rail and main cross have been installed,” said John Moore, junior warden. “Our new priest, Father James Gibson, is on board, so all the pieces of the puzzle are now in place and ready to be dedicated.”

The Celebration service is designed to officially receive and install a new priest into an existing church. St. Anthony’s will also use this formal occasion to bless and consecrate the new altar and sanctuary.

The imposing altar and attached reed table, handcrafted by a St. Anthony’s parishioner, were built and installed some time ago.

The base of the structure is totally constructed of finished white oak with five inset panels, four of which display a wooden cross made of solid walnut.

The center inset panel features a 12-by-12-inch piece of Crab Orchard Stone etched with a picture of Christ The King.

The top of the altar as well as the top of the reed table are capped with Crab Orchard stone. The main altar stone is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and weighs in excess of 400 pounds.

The altar rail is made of the same finished white oak and features four wooden walnut crosses. A lighted 4-by-4inch solid walnut cross is suspended high above the altar.

On April 10, 2011 the Holy Eucharistic was first offered to 17 people in the historic Crab Orchard Christian Church, a church that just celebrated its own 107th anniversary and completed and moved into a new church facility.

St. Anthony’s meets in the historic church structure, and conversion work has slowly progressed in the historic building.

“Great care and caution were taken not to damage or demean any part of the building’s structure or character,” Moore said.

Since the arrival of Gibson on Aug. 4, parishioners have been making last-minute preparations for the upcoming formal service.

Beginning Oct. 6, St. Anthony’s weekly Sunday Holy Eucharist service will begin at 11 a.m. Central time.

A Bible/book study with light refreshments will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by a prayer service at 2 p.m.

“The new service schedule was designed so that parishioners could attend the Bible/book study while choosing to attend the morning Holy Eucharist or the afternoon evening prayer service,” Gibson said.

The Bible/book study is currently on “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis.

St. Anthony’s had parishioners in attendance last Sunday from Roane, Cumberland, Rhea, Morgan and Putnam counties.

St. Anthony’s is at 9828 U.S. Hwy. 70 East.

Email St. Anthony’s at newestchurch@gmail.com or call Moore at 931-200-2411 for more information.