Church tour welcomed visitors amid rain

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

December 25, 2013

Five historic Yadkin Valley churches opened on Sunday for a special tour.

The tours were held from 2 to 5 p.m. with special music presented at each church throughout the afternoon.

The tour began at First Baptist Church in Elkin and included the First United Methodist Church of Elkin, St. Stephen Catholic Church, Jonesville First United Methodist Church and Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church.

Upon conclusion, a dinner was served at the First Baptist Church.

“The weather has been the biggest challenge today,” said Pastor Mark L. Barden referencing the day-long rain that kept the crowds away. “It doesn’t matter though. We appreciate the opportunity that allows many to see all sanctuaries here.”

Sr. Janis McQuade of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Elkin said that they’re used to getting people who pop into the church randomly and wasn’t too worried about the weather.

“We have a growing church here and we get lots of people who pass through. We also had over 130 regular attendees at last mass. For a mission church, which is different compared to a parish, that’s a pretty good number,” said Janis.

Upon a visit to Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church, the Rev. Gaye Brown thanked the volunteers that helped decorate the church prior to the tour.

“It worked out wonderfully. The church looks great. We had someone who actually walked in and said that they’ve been in Elkin their entire life and never walked into this church,” said Brown.

At the First United Methodist Church in Jonesville, the Rev. Judy Davis was tending to a walk-in, a person from the community who was in crisis and needing of ministry support. Upon a break from the discussion, Davis said, “Event the rain can’t damper our spirits, nor the hope and joy we feel as we receive the Christ child.”

Pastor Rick Bennett was busy during the tour tending to visitors.

“I have to race out and get to a funeral service,” said Bennett. “Doesn’t matter though. We have plenty of food downstairs. Go have supper.”

The meal followed the tour conclusion in the lower level of the First Baptist Church.

Joyce Hamby was observed on the piano serenading the guests.

“I’ve been playing my entire life,” said Hamby.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.