A church is more than a building, but for one congregation in Bluffton, the building has been the sticking point for almost three years.

On Shults Road in Bluffton, the Spanish-speaking Seventh-day Adventist Congregation has struggled to finish its 4,000-square-foot church due to lack of funds. The cream-colored stucco building has sat unfinished since 2014, drawing complaints to local officials about its appearance.

But thanks to unwavering faith by church members and a local general contractor who volunteered his leadership, the sanctuary will be filled with the joyful sounds of worship by the end of this month.

Pastor Israel Mora recently gave thanks for Steve Crews of H2 Builders, who offered to help the congregation wrap up the unfinished construction project. Crews coordinated with Kenneth Scott Builders to save the congregation money and improve the structure.

“Steve knew what was better for us and was able to guide us,” Mora said.

Since it was founded in 2000, the congregation rented space from Sea Pines Montessori Academy and a church and hotel on Hilton Head Island before buying property in Bluffton.

The 140 members currently meet on the site in a small building that was first a home and later a daycare center. This building is being incorporated into the new church, but Pastor Mora says eventually the congregation would like to replace it with a gymnasium.

Church members have provided much of the labor for the new facility, including installing flooring and transplanting dozens of donated shrubs.

Mora and member Miguel Monzon feel the new building will help the church serve the larger community. Ministries have included running a soccer league, taking food to the needy, offering music lessons for children and presenting health seminars.

Mora and Monzon praised residents of Shults Road that have watched over the long construction project and called police when suspicious activity was noted. “Nothing was ever damaged or stolen,” Monzon said. “We have the best neighbors.”

Carol Weir of Bluffton is a career journalist and teacher.