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A South Carolina church plant is getting rave reviews for its food.

Live on the Rock Christian Reformed Church in Columbia, S.C., serves meals, coffee, and a huge variety of desserts.

The food is so good that the pimiento cheeseburger was featured among the state’s top five in a special insert of Southern Living magazine last winter. In 2009 local television station WLTX recognized the church with a “golden spatula” award.

That’s because the church also happens to be Desserts & More, a 4-year-old restaurant managed by Rev. Cary Holbert, his wife Sharon, and their two daughters. The eatery’s mission statement is “to make Christ known.”

“We’re here to make Jesus known,” said Holbert. “We’re not ashamed to speak of Christ.”

To Holbert, being a restaurant owner and pastor puts him in the same place as other church-goers who must balance work and ministry. He encourages his congregation to bring their faith into their work situations, while doing so himself.

About 50 people participate in the church.

“I like feeling the pain and the struggle of trying to manage all the hours while equipping and discipling believers,” Holbert said.

Holbrook worked full time as a manager at Blue Cross/Blue Shield until last year, when he quit to focus on his work as a pastor.  

Live on the Rock CRC strives to share an intelligent Reformed message, said Holbrook.

The church hosts musicians and comedians on Friday evenings and has a weekly teen ministry.

In 2010 the restaurant has seen a 58 percent increase in revenue over last year and has hired four new employees.

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