Holy Cross Lutheran will celebrate ’60+1 anniversary’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2021

Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Sunday, Nov. 14, will celebrate the 60+1 anniversary of the congregation, located at 1913 U.S. 601 South in Mocksville. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the church couldn’t have an anniversary celebration last year.

The Rev. Kelly H. Moore, pastor at Holy Cross, will share leading the 60+1 anniversary Worship Service with the Rev. Dr. Tim Smith, bishop of the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. At the 9 a.m. service, Bishop Smith will preach and assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.

Bishop Smith is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary and Drew University. His ministry encompasses supervising 22 full-year seminary interns, serving as campus pastor at Appalachian State University and being a featured preacher for Day 1 radio broadcast (formerly The Protestant Hour). After serving several congregations, Bishop Smith was elected Bishop of the North Carolina Synod in 2015. He was re-elected for a second term in 2021. Bishop Smith and his wife, Wendy, have three children: Matthew (Keri), Isaaac (Lauren), and Ruth (Tommy). They enjoy spending as much time as possible with their grandchildren.

In the late 1950’s, a group of Lutherans living near Mocksville was interested in establishing a mission here. Cottage meetings were held and Dr. F. L. Conrad, president of the North Carolina Synod, was contacted. On January 11, 1959, a meeting was held at the Rotary Hut in Mocksville to discuss plans for a possible church. As a result of this meeting, the North Carolina Synod called Seminarian Boyce D. Whitener to work in Mocksville from June through August of 1959.

In the fall of 1959, it became necessary for the little group to find some other place for their services. The group moved to the old abandoned Cherry Hill Lutheran Church, off U.S. 601 south of Mocksville. The building came with no conveniences such as plumbing or heating. During the fall and winter months of 1959-1960 regular services were held. Students from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary preached. Choir rehearsals were held at the home of Edith Waller, pianist.

On June 1, 1960, exactly one year from the time the group started meeting, the Rev. Boyce D. Whitener was called by the Board of the American Missions as mission developer. In October 1960, the group met and unanimously adopted the name Holy Cross Lutheran Church. This name was selected because it was easy to remember and at that time there was no other church in the Synod by that name.

On November 13, 1960, at 2:00 p.m. the congregation was formally organized with 72 adult charter members and 23 child members. The official call to become pastor was extended to the Rev. Boyce Whitener on December 4, 1960, to become effective on January 1, 1961.

Original members who are still members at Holy Cross are Harold Chaffin, Tommy Chaffin, Becky Brown, Jim McBride, Ron Waller, and Cynthia Sain (child member at that time). Tommy and Patricia Ward Chaffin were the first couple married at Holy Cross on the 14th of April in 1962.

Through the succeeding years, Holy Cross has been served by thirteen called pastors. Many national, state, and community agencies and organizations have benefitted from this congregation. From meals, clothing, and household items for those less fortunate, disaster relief after tornadoes or hurricanes, participation in community events, to support of missionaries around the world, Holy Cross continues to be God’s presence in the world.