Integrated Church in North Carolina Marks Anniversary

New Beginnings United Methodist Church in Jonesville will celebrate its one-year anniversary as the consolidation of three area Methodist churches — one with a congregation that was historically white and the other two African-American.

Ronda’s Piney Grove and Elkin’s Wesley Chapel, both with black congregations, and Jonesville First Methodist, a white church, merged in July 2018.

All three churches had long, rich histories, reported in The Tribune at the time of the merger, but all were dwindling, each averaging about 25 in worship, according to the combined church’s pastor, Rev. Jeanette Hayes.

Before the merger, Hayes was the pastor of Wesley Chapel and Piney Grove. New Beginnings meets in the former Jonesville First Methodist building.

“Look around at the rainbow God has created,” said Hayes.” No one feels out of place here,” she preached in an early sermon at the new church. “Diversity is our strength but unity is our goal,” she reported to Stories of Faith, a Methodist magazine.

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Source: Elkin Tribune