Thriving Rural Communities has formed partnerships with eight rural United Methodist churches across North Carolina. These churches provide inspiring examples of how to live the mission of Christ in a rural context.
Each Partner Church receives educational opportunities and grant funding from Duke Divinity School and The Duke Endowment as it seeks further ways to serve its surrounding community. The congregations also serve as special learning centers for Rural Ministry Fellows, who serve their ten-week summer field education placement in one of these congregations, as well as for other clergy and laity throughout North Carolina.
North Carolina Conference
Bladen United Methodist Charge
White Oak, N.C.
- Rev. Tim Reaves, pastor of the three churches that comprise the Bladen Charge, discusses practical, faithful, and fruitful ways for small churches to share Christ with their communities. Listen on iTunes U.
Cedar Grove UMC
Cedar Grove N.C.
- Anathoth Community Garden
- An unsolved murder helped bring together the black and white communities in Cedar Grove, and brought forth a community garden to provide food for those in need. Listen or read on the NPR affiliate WUNC.org.
Sandy Plains UMC
- Sandy Plains UMC is steeped in the Native American Lumbee culture and tradition that defines Pembroke. A trio of articles - Every member in mind; Creating expectations for laity; Native American churches pull together in the Carolinas - discusses the impact this small church has had on the community.
Solid Rock UMC
Spout Springs, N.C.
- A strong sense of entrepreneurial leadership and clear vision have helped create a unique and thriving community at Solid Rock.
Western North Carolina Conference
- The Rev. David Cook and Fairview UMC work with the community through their pre-school ministry. Watch the video.
- The Rev. Brad Thie and members speak about reaching out to the community in mission and ministry. View the video.
Hayesville First UMC
- The Rev. Kirk Hatherly and members of Hayesville First UMC reach out their "small town" America community through various ministries, including feeding the junior varsity football team and the annual Christmas Dinner. Watch the video.
- Read more about Hayesville First's community outreach.
- The Rev. Randy Foster and Tyro UMC share their own version of "Extreme Home Makeover." View the video.
Resources for Partner Churches
These resources are designed for the Thriving Rural Communities Partner Churches.