In the small town of Morven, North Carolina, a United Methodist congregation has opened their doors and their hearts to a group of local Latter-day Saints.
Morven is a rural community, with a population of just 548 people, and in the past, members of the Church in the area had to drive over an hour to attend Sunday services. But now, thanks to New Hope Church, local Latter-day Saints have been invited to share their space and hold their own local meetings.
Church representatives met with New Hope Church leader Michael Williams last fall with the inquiry: might a small group of Latter-day Saints be allowed to share their church building to hold their own Sunday meetings?
Williams called the opportunity a “God-wink” experience—divinely guided rather than just coincidence. Shortly before he met with Charlotte North Carolina South Stake President Bryan Jenkins to nail down the details of the agreement, Williams had been studying the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When approached with the proposal, Williams responded: “There is a need. We won’t hesitate.”
Jule Canipe, who is now a Latter-day Saint but attended New Hope as a child, and his wife Rena, appreciate the compassion and hospitality of their neighbors. “It’s unbelievable. There are no words,” Rena shared with gratitude.
And the local Latter-day Saints are finding creative, tangible ways to express that gratitude. In addition to helping with the cost of utility bills for the building, 30 members of the larger Latter-day Saint Waxhaw congregation came to New Hope Church to clear bushes, trim hedges, clean walkways, and assist with other landscaping projects.
“We are so grateful for our dear brothers, sisters, and friends at New Hope. It has been a blessing to serve together, and we look forward to working hand-in-hand to serve the community and others,” President Jenkins said.
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