New Hope to celebrate 130th year anniversary and homecoming
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2016
Homecoming is swiftly approaching. Sept. 11 is the day set aside to celebrate the 130th year anniversary and annual Homecoming of New Hope AME Zion Church, 1470 N. Long Street Extension.
The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 with an opening ceremony, ribbon cutting and gospel concert.
On Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10:30 a.m., a family fun day will be held at the Royal Giants Park, East Spencer, with ball games, face painting, clowns, food and more. Bring your lawn chairs and join in for a full day of fun.
On Sunday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m., a memorial service and balloon release will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Hwy. 29 (site of the first church) and at 10:15 a.m. at the current cemetery at New Hope.
At 11 a.m., Rev. Patrick Tate and the Southern City Tabernacle AME Zion Church congregation will join New Hope in the worship service. Dinner will be served following the morning worship service.
Special guest speaker for the homecoming service will be the Rte. Reverend George Edward Battle Jr., Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Piedmont Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church which includes the following conferences: Blue Ridge, West Central North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Cornwall-Middlesex-Surrey of Jamaica, W.I. He holds bachelors degree from Livingstone College, a master of divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry from Howard University. Bishop Battle is a native of Rocky Mount.
Revival services will be held at 7 p.m. nightly, Sept. 12-14. Three off-spring of New Hope will be the revivalists. The Rev. Lonnie Tucker, pastor of Waddell Chapel AME Zion Church of Shelby, will speak on Monday. The Rev. James Milton, pastor of Pleasant Grove AME Zion Church in Concord, will speak on Tuesday. The Rev. Margaret R. Anderson, assistant pastor of Soldiers Memorial AME ZION Church, Salisbury, will speak on Wednesday.
Having a homecoming celebration is a tradition at New Hope. Celebrating 130 years in existence is phenomenal.
“Homecoming is an opportunity to stay in touch with old friends, family members, and future generations so that the church history and legacy can be passed on,” according to Sarah Stout Lightner, program chairman of the 130th Year Celebration. Lessie A. Wood, one of the older members of New Hope says that “Homecoming is a celebration of a new beginning in our lives; a celebration and reunion all in one. It brings families back home and is a happy time.”
The Rev. Dr. Debra J. Hall is host pastor.