A years-long friendship between two Twin Counties pastors recently helped bring their congregations together for fellowship and a mission project.
The Rev. Dan Davis, interim pastor of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Richard Joyner, pastor of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, first gathered their congregations June 21 for a hot dog supper at Bethlehem’s vacation Bible school. After the meal, Joyner and his congregation presented an overview of the work and mission of the Conetoe Family Life Center.
The nonprofit center, which Joyner founded in 2007 and still directs, empowers the community to create healthy living and eating lifestyles, a release says. As part of its program, 50 young people tend a 15-acre, four-garden project that teaches them agricultural, leadership and business development skills and makes money for youth and community activities.
Support from the Presbytery of New Hope, including Bethlehem, West Haven and First Presbyterian churches in Rocky Mount, has helped the center expand.
On June 22, Bethlehem sent 17 members to deliver a donation of canning and freezing supplies to the Conetoe Chapel and to help the congregation work in a 10-acre garden, including staking and mulching 50-yard-long rows of tomatoes. After the morning’s work and a shared lunch in the fellowship hall, Conetoe Chapel members sent the Bethlehem congregation home with gifts of fresh squash, cabbage and zucchini.
Bethlehem Presbyterian Church is at 1460 Bethlehem Road, Rocky Mount, and Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church is at 200 N. Railroad St., Conetoe.