His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj cultivated a vision to revive Hindu values and culture in the northwestern area during his 1977 visit to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Swamis in the Southeast United States have since frequented the area to expand cultural, social and religious activities in the Hindu-American community. The culmination of this vision was achieved on September 10-11, 2016 with the inauguration of a new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Greenville, South Carolina in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriyadas Swami) and other respected Swamis.
The weekend’s commemorations began with a cultural program. A skit highlighting the importance of spirituality within our everyday lives was followed by an animated cultural dance performed by youths. Pujya Somprakash Swami concluded the cultural program by bringing to light the critical role that a mandir plays in society by keeping the frameworks of dharma (moral law combined with spiritual discipline that guides one's life) alive.
The auspicious occasion of Murti Sthapan took place on Sunday, September 11, 2016. The ceremony began with the traditional mahapuja followed by the murti-sthapan ceremony in which the murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, Shri Radha-Krishna, Guru Parampara, Shri Sita-Ram-Hanumanji, and Shri Shiv-Parvati-Ganeshji were consecrated. These murtis were consecrated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur, India on September 30, 2015. Devotees and well-wishers offered prayers for world peace and harmony in officially opening the mandir to all members of the community.
Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami closed the festivities by thanking BAPS devotees and volunteers from across the Southeast region for their contributions and spirit of togetherness. He added that with the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the new Mandir will serve as a center of spiritual, societal and charitable services in the region.