The Nova Scotia government is investing $1.7 million for the expansion of the Richard Preston Centre for Excellence at New Horizons Baptist Church.
The funding for the north end community hub will create additional spaces for tutoring, mentoring, youth and seniors programs, along with community services and gatherings.
New Horizons Rev. Rhonda Britton was so excited by the news she said she wanted "to do a little happy dance," pointing out the work of churches goes well beyond the spiritual.
"The social work, trying to help and build communities around them and make them sustainable, to build up people, to equip them so that we can provide together," she stated. "We are so, so grateful to you for what you are doing for us today, you have no idea."
She said the funding for the centre for excellence -- named after Reverend Richard Preston, who founded the church in 1832 -- will help New Horizons carry on its 190 year legacy of community outreach.
Lana Maclean Pleasant, speaking for the centre's board of directors, said the investment will help them provide culturally responsive programs that support the unique needs of the African Nova Scotian community.
"As a member of the African Nova Scotian community, I can not begin to tell you how significant church halls, community centres and recreation facilities have impacted my life personally," added African Nova Scotian Affairs Deputy Minister, Dwayne Provo, who joined Minister Pat Dunn for Wednesday's announcement.
The provincial funding is also expected to cover information technology infrastructure, a new kitchen and a refurbished hall.
"All spaces will be accessible, with construction including a street-level lift in front of the church, an interior lift to access all levels, and an updated interior throughout," said a news release from the province.
Work on the centre's expansion is already underway and has an estimated total cost of $3.8 million.