By Lance Hickey
Leicester – As we enter into 2019 ready for a new season of possibilities and New Year’s resolutions, Americans across the country will set goals and personal visions for the year ahead of them.
In 2019, in our Where We Worship series, we will continue to strive to uncover the churches and religious organizations in our area that have left and continue to leave an impact on our communities in Northern Buncombe and Madison Counties. It’s these, many times hidden, gems that help to facilitate change and new-found potential in our communities.
On January 6, I had the opportunity to cover Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Leicester, the first congregation covered in our Where We Worship series in 2019.
Located in South Leicester, moments from Newfound Rd, on Dix Creek Road Number Two, Corinth Missionary Baptist Church has impacted the Leicester area for more than 100 years. Established on July 25, 1897, the church has focused on ministering to and helping residents of the Dix Creek area of Leicester, as well as those in the South end of Leicester.
The congregation was founded by 11 committee members from Zion Hills Baptist Church and Newfound Baptist Church. The goal became simple, to organically outreach to those in the Dix Creek area who needed a church closer to their homes, as transportation proved to be much harder to navigate in the late 1800s compared to the modern conveniences we enjoy today. The first pastor of Corinth Missionary Baptist Church was W.T. Falls.
Built in 1956, the building sits on a hill with mountainous views galore. Arched windows with a brick backsplash encompass the sides of the sanctuary. Glowing-red front doors accent a small white cross standing on the top of the gray metal roof.
Service began at 11 am as parishioners gathered from across the area for worship. A man came forward to welcome the congregation as they found their seats in the pews. The church choir followed by singing “Standing on the Promises,” the first hymn of the day. Worshippers sang aloud in a chorus.
The choir then began to sing the second and final hymn of the day, titled “When We All Get to Heaven.” The choral group encompassed individuals from seemingly all age groups represented in the congregation.
As time came for the weekly ministerial offering, the piano continued to echo across the room. The church is currently in transition, led by church leaders and elders, as they helped to facilitate the order of the service. Reverend George Burns, a candidate for the new pastoral role, was introduced to the congregation. Burns stepped forward to present his sermon.
Burns asked the congregation to stand in holy reverence as he promptly began to read from scripture. As the flock sat following the reading of scripture, Burns, dressed in black suit accented by a white-striped tie, communicated his message on the power of keeping God’s commandments. The crowd clapped in agreement as Burns enthusiastically preached.
As Burns completed the presentation of his message, he said an accompanying prayer before service was dismissed.
Service at Corinth Missionary Baptist Church proved to be uplifting and thought-provoking. The service was presented with a more traditional stylistic approach, with parishioners attending from all age groups. The church nomination committee has also presented plans for a congregational vote to determine who will become Corinth Missionary Baptist Church’s next pastor.