Upstate church helps fund new building with fireworks sales

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GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) – A Greer church is raising money for a new church by selling fireworks.

O’Neal Church of God pastor Tim McConnel says his congregation outgrew the old campus.

“We’ll only hold around 300,” McConnel said, “And so, the church began to grow. We have absolutely no parking. We have multiplied our services.”

McConnel sought to continue the dream of pastors before him and build a new church. However, the banks weren’t much help.

“We were looking at any way to make money. So, fireworks during the Summer became a good way to make money,” McConnel said.

He set up one fireworks stand on the land of the new campus, off Highway 101. However, sales at the other stand at the Greer Walmart Super Center is helping others.

“The profits from that fireworks stand helped our homeless ministry—TJS ministries to feed the homeless,” McConnel said.

Sales are booming. McConnel says they can see anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 in sales a season. And due to its success, the new church was funded without a mortgage. They broke ground four years after they started selling.

McConnel says he owes it all to the dedication of his church members. One, very patriotic member Bruce Lawrence helped run the stands.

“He wanted volunteers. So, we volunteered. And we’ve been here ever since,” Lawrence said.

McConnel tells us they sell out almost every year.

Lawrence can’t wait to get inside to see the new facility, as his hard work paid off.

“I love my church and I’d do anything I can to get it going,” said Lawrence.

The new church is about 75 percent complete. And anytime they have a setback, McConnel says God makes a way.

“God has blessed us with each month, being able to keep the building going,” McConnel said.

If you buy $100 worth of fireworks, you get a free CD featuring singers at the church.

There will also be a free, fireworks show on the 4th of July. The public is welcome to attend. You can stop by the new campus of O’Neal Church of God off Highway 101, in Greer.

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