New Hope UMC


And what a great day it was! We hit a high note in praising God in song with this service. Buncombe UMC of Greenville traveled south with 25 members of their choir to lead us in a most unique singing service. Under the direction of Rosemary Hughes and the brilliant piano accompaniment of Vance Jenkins, the sounds filled the sanctuary to the roof and echoed off the refurbished stained glass windows. No one could remember such an event and we have some folks who go back a long way This unlikely experience came about through the efforts of Jim Doolittle of Buncombe and Pastor Sandra Whetsell. In a story that's been around a while but is worth retelling, Pastor offered some choir robes for sale in the Methodist Advocate, as a modest starting point for our Windows Repair Campaign. Jim responded to the ad and though he wasn't interested in the robes, he was interested in how their church might help ours. He and wife Jenny made a trip down to New Hope around Christmas last year and that set in motion a plan to have their choir do a special service for us. But their participation did not end there. The church and its members contributed generously to our Windows campaign 

Rosemary led the service and rendered a beautiful solo, To Behold Thee. The service was a blend of special numbers by the choir and participation by the congregation. It followed a theme of Why We Sing. We sing to Praise, to Follow, to Affirm, to Learn, to Witness and to Celebrate. Each worship section included a narrative which made the experience even more memorable

We were honored with the presence of our District Superintendent, Brother Frederick Yebuah and his wife, Suzzette. Brother Frederick led us in prayer and gave us a brief account of how far New Hope had come during his four year tenure.  In short, we were a church on the brink of closing and are now a church who is experiencing the bounty of God's blessings. Amen. 

The service was followed by a dinner at the Community Center. The Kuckery provided an abundant buffet of comfort foods in the fine southern tradition. Some folks brought desserts and everyone brought a smile and an expression of grateful appreciation for a most memorable occasion. 

It seems Buncombe thought of everything including videoing the service for us. Thanks to Curtis Lackey, we are able to provide that for you and preserve it here for our history. Click here to watch the service.   

(photos courtesy of Jeff Whetstone).

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