Integrated church marks anniversary

By Bill Colvard - bill.colvard@elkintribune.com
New Beginnings congregation before a service. - Submitted photos
Pastor of New Beginnings, Rev. Jeanette Hayes, speaks to the congregation. - Submitted photos
The New Beginnings congregation socializes at a church function. - Submitted photos

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.

Each of the churches forming the cooperative parish has their own distinctive histories and their common shared ministries, including Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry, Grace Clinic, Feeding America, The ARK, Operation Christmas Child, Jonesville Jubilee, Community VBS, community Bible study, community youth Bible study, Sunday school, Ringing Salvation Army bell, children’s time, homecoming/revival, Michael Stephen Stockton Friends and Family Community Monthly free meal, monthly singing at Chatham Nursing Home, community Thanksgiving service, community Lent service, UMW, UMM, community unity service, school supplies, feed elderly, choirs, and more.

New Beginnings will celebrate their first church anniversary this Sunday, July 14, 2019. Praise and Worship will begin at 10:45 a.m. with Morning Worship beginning at 11 a.m. Lunch to follow. Afternoon celebration begins at 3 p.m.

“We have come this far by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Hayes. “As we begin our second year, we truly want to always keep God and His righteousness first and all things will be added to us (Matthew 6:33), as we work, pray and play together as God continually showers us all with new beginnings.”

New Beginnings congregation before a service.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/web1_1-1.jpgNew Beginnings congregation before a service. Submitted photos

Pastor of New Beginnings, Rev. Jeanette Hayes, speaks to the congregation.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/web1_2-4.jpgPastor of New Beginnings, Rev. Jeanette Hayes, speaks to the congregation. Submitted photos

The New Beginnings congregation socializes at a church function.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/web1_3-3.jpgThe New Beginnings congregation socializes at a church function. Submitted photos

By Bill Colvard

bill.colvard@elkintribune.com

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-258-4035.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-258-4035.