History

 

Quarterly Conference Minutes show this Church grouped with five others to form the Charlotte Charge as early as 1840. An entry in the Conference Minutes bearing the date of June 22, 1867, establishes the fact that a Sabbath School had been organized at New Hope during this year. 

 

Throughout these Minutes, New Hope is often called "the Church at Reeses" or simply "Reeses." The 1909 Conference Minutes state "the new building at Reeses is about completed," and it was in this year that our congregation moved into the one room church built by Willie and Jackson Dunn on the one acre given by Mr. Wesley Dickerson. Collier Tharpe, Rufus Wilkins, David Nichols and Albert Tuck purchased a second acre of land for cemetery grounds from Mr. Dickerson. Among the first graves in this cemetery were the wife and three sons of Mr. Albert Tuck, Sr.

 

The membership is said to have been approximately 40. Mr. Sandy Rice was the first Superintendent; Mattie Rice, the adult Bible teacher and their daughters, Anna and Mabel, were pianist and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively. Heating was furnished by wood stoves and wood was donated by the members. Oil lamps furnished light for night services, and the first oil lamp used in the new church was given by Mrs. Elsie Winston.

 

The one room remained until 1954. Then under the leadership of Rev. M. E. Shepherd, who was Pastor of the church and an excellent carpenter, lumber was cut from the Church property and three church school rooms were added to the left of the Sanctuary. The first WSCS (now known as the United Methodist Women or UMW) organized in June of 1956.

 

The need for a new church building prompted the start of a building fund in 1968 and on August 29, 1972, ground breaking ceremonies were held. Under the direction of Rev. P. E. DeMuth, the church members worked in harmony and dedication to erect the new building and in 1977, our new church building was dedicated. At that time, beautiful stained glass windows were installed in memory of faithful and dedicated members, J. Albert Tuck, Sr. and Victoria T. Tuck, Hunter M. Green and Alice D. Green, James T. Tharpe and Jennie L. Tharpe, Elsie Tuck Fallen and Herman B. Fallen, William L. Dunn and Melissa V. Dunn, Charlie W. Tharpe and Mary L. Tharpe and James C. Tharpe, George W. Nichols and Daisy H. Nichols, David T. Lipscomb and Geraldine L. Lipscomb, R. Jeter Tuck, Sr., Earnest D. Ridgeway and Sadie E. Ridgeway, Norman Marshall Nichols, B. Keith Hendricks. The entire landscaping shrubs were donated by Mr. Robert Howard of the Southall Church. In the fall of 1978, brass vases, candlesticks, linen communion cloth, and memorial record book were given in memory of Dolly Dunn Green by her children. 

 

In 1980 the seasonal colors altar and communion cloths were donated in memory of Inez T. Collie by her grandchildren. In 1984, another stained glass window was added in memory of C. O. “Sam” Tucker, who had been a faithful servant for many years. In 1985, American and Christian flags and brass stands were given by the Stuart Fallen family.

 

The Building and Grounds and Cemetery Committees completed work in 1989 on new landscaping and placed under perpetual care graves for most present members. In 1990 the entire driveway around the church was paved. In June 1990, outside lighting was dedicated to the memory of C. O. “Sam” Tucker for his love, devotion, and faithfulness to the church.

 

In 1994 a beautiful lighted stained picture was installed in the front of the sanctuary and dedicated in 1995 in memory of William V. “Billy” Nichols, Sr. who at the time of his death in June 1995 had served New Hope as Trustee, youth teacher, Board Chairman, and as Sunday School Superintendent for the past 42 years. In the spring of 1995 a Memorial Day celebration was held at the church and a Memorial tree was given and planted by the Adult Class.

 

In June of 1996, a new parsonage, located three miles north of New Hope on Route 746, was completed for the Phenix Charge enabling the charge to once again have a full-time pastor. A new well was drilled in July of 1998 at the church to meet the watering needs of the landscaping.

 

Monies received from the prints of “Old Scuffletown” by member Inez Green Nichols was the start of the fundraising campaign for an upstairs, handicap-accessible restroom built in October 1998 by Lipscomb Builders. A framed portrait of “Old Scuffletown” was given by Vicky Fallen Wingo in memory of the Fallen family and now hangs in the upstairs hallway. The same year, a large storage shed was donated by Rev. Robert Weeks and his family and erected at the parsonage. In January of 1999 a beautiful lace communion cloth was given in memory of Albert Langford by his niece, Gayle Garnett. A stained glass window was added in February of 1999 over the vestibule door by Annie C. Nichols in memory of William V. Nichols, Sr.

 

In March of 1999 a generous gift of 2.24 acres of land adjacent to the church property was given by Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Watts. This gift enabled the church to build a beautiful pavilion. With funds started from a donation earmarked for this project by Tucker W. Tharpe, the church council approved construction. It was completed in September of 1999 by Tharpe Contractors.

 

One hundred new hymnals were given in memory of loved ones and to the glory of God and were dedicated in May 1999 along with 70 pew Bibles donated by a member of the congregation. Also in 1999, five members became Local Lay Speakers.

 

At the Memorial Day celebration in 2001, the Basement Sunday School Class began their generous tradition of donating a resting bench to be placed in the cemetery. In 2003 the third bench was dedicated in memory of Jimmie D. Cumbie for his service to his country, church, family, and community. In May 2004, a fourth resting bench was given by Callie Tucker and placed near the cemetery at the Memorial Day Picnic in memory of George Tucker and Bobby Tucker. 

 

In July of 2001, the beautiful brass cross on the communion table was donated by a member of the congregation. In April 2002, new carpet was placed in the sanctuary and upstairs classrooms thanks to generous donations in honor of Homecoming 2001. The Phenix Charge became the New Hope-Southall Memorial Charge in June 2002 when realignment occurred placing Phenix UMC with Mt. Carmel UMC leaving Southall Memorial and New Hope together as a two-point charge. At the same time, Mrs. Rosa Langford was honored for her 40 years of selfless and outstanding service as Church Treasurer.

 

June 2003 saw the donation of a new acolyte stand and two candle lighters now placed at the front of the sanctuary. The acolytes do a wonderful job each Sunday of bringing the light of Christ into the sanctuary and taking it out into the world at the end of services.

 

In October 2003, donations in memory and honor of loved ones totaled over $4,000 at Homecoming and were placed in a piano fund. In early 2004, a new piano was given in memory of Elsie T. Fallen, Henry and Virginia Fallen, Mary Willie Hawley, Herman and James Henry Fallen by the Fallen family. Funds from the piano fund were then transferred to the Cemetery and Building Funds. In June 2004, Ludy Collie was recognized with an engraved pewter tray for 48 years as Sunday School primary teacher. 

 

In 2004, nine replacement windows were donated by members and installed in the upstairs hallways and classrooms. In October 2004, a four-night, spirit-filled revival led by former pastor, Rev. Sylvia Meadows, was held with wonderful music and was well attended. 

 

Cub Scout Pack 160 was chartered at New Hope in January 2005 with several of our youth as scouts and several of our adults serving as leaders for the Pack. In the Spring, the scouts participated in Scout Sunday and the Memorial Day Picnic. Also in the Spring of 2005, piano lessons were taught to several church youth by choir director Deborah Ketchum. Money paid for lessons was donated to youth for their mission work. In February 2005, six chandeliers were installed in the sanctuary given by church members. 

 

The youth of New Hope are very active in the church and community serving as acolytes, choir members, presenting special programs, undertaking community service projects, and assisting with activities for young children. They participate often in mission events, trips, and retreats. Between 2002-2004, they raised over $3,400 for World Vision through the 30-Hour Famine event. During this event, they also assisted elderly neighbors in projects such as providing firewood and painting. They continue to be a powerful force in the life of New Hope.

 

Compiled by Ludy Collie. Information secured from Gene McKinney, Dolly Green, Susie Beasley, Jeter Tuck and Henry Fallen. Updated October 2005. 

 

In 2012, the Administrative Council of New Hope discussed the need for a new above-ground fellowship hall that would be accommodate large functions such as Homecoming and be handicap accessible for our aging members and guests.  

  

A building committee was formed and approved at our Charge Conference in late 2012. The church study report from 2004 was updated.  The building committee first met in Jan 2013 with 14 members present and elected James E. Tuck as Chairman. After many meetings and subcommittee meetings, the committee presented recommendations to the Farmville District Board of Church who approved the recommendations. Following this approval, District Superintendent Rev. Bob Parks called a Church Conference on November 11, 2013, and the church members overwhelmingly approved for the building committee to have plans drawn and receive bids for the new building. After having plans drawn for the new fellowship hall, kitchen, and bathrooms, the church members approved the plans for the new addition.

 

The new addition will be located to the left of present buildings with connection to the old Sunday School Room and with bathrooms between the buildings. The new building will be a total of 3,210 square feet. Bids were received and the committee selected contractor T.R. Adams Construction, LLC. Our District Superintendent called another Church Conference on July 3, 2014, where church members were presented with all information, and the church overwhelmingly approved to move forward and build the addition. The contract was signed by Adams Construction and our Church Trusties and construction started on August 20th, 2014.  The new fellowship hall was dedicated at Homecoming on Sunday, August 30, 2015.  On Homecoming Sunday, October 22, 2017, the mortgage note was burned and the church thanked God for the many blessings provided that allowed for the entire building project to be paid in full in two years.

New Hope United Methodist Church

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