Thriving Rural Communities

Spring Hill United Methodist Church has been selected as a Thriving Rural Church through Duke Divinity School and the Duke Endowment for The Thriving Rural Church component of the Thriving Rural Communities Initiative of the Duke Endlowment. This recognition  highlights and supports the work of rural churches in North Carolina that are building engaged congregations and actively ministering to community needs. Each of the five model churches in the NC Conference will host Rural Ministry Fellows for field placements, and pastors from the model churches will serve as mentors to the Fellows.

In addition to hosting and mentoring Rural Fellows, all model churches serve as demonstration sites for other rural churches, provide examples of best practice and possibility, and may receive additional funds for community projects. Pastors gather several times a year to discuss leadership, share fellowship and pray for one another. They also host “Come and See” events at their churches to share ideas, stories and best practices with other rural pastors and congregations. The  churches also participate in renewal events, including a two-night “revival” experience focused on reviving the churches and communities, rather than individuals. In addition, two laity from each of the  churches receive annual leadership training, and pastors from all Thriving Rural Churches gather once a year to share experiences.