Faith can be fun too, right? Gold Hill church holds weekend revival

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

GOLD HILL — Nestled in Gold Hill Mines Historic Park is a Methodist church, and this past weekend, the little village was anything but quiet.

The Gold Hill Historic Methodist Church hosted a three-day revival event featuring bluegrass music and a car show following Sunday service.

“We’re here with the Historic Gold Hill Methodist Church, and we have been having a revival, Friday, Saturday and today (Sunday),” said John Earnhardt, one of the event’s organizers. “We’ve been playing music, good ol’ fashioned bluegrass music. There were a couple of groups who came and did music for us. I spoke here at the church this morning, and now we are doing a car show.”

The Gold Hill church holds a special place in Earnhardt’s heart. It was the site where he gave himself to the Lord to be saved many years ago. However, over the weekend, it took on an added meaning.

“The purpose of the car show is to invite people of the community to get acquainted with the people here at this historic church that has been here for 175 years,” Earnhardt said.

Having a little fun in the process was all part of the plan, according to the church’s pastor, Beverly Maulden, also known as “Rev. Bev.”

Asked why it was important to make the revival fun, Maulden said, “So that people will come. Jesus made everything fun. He did, and they have been doing it for 2,000 years.”

Maulden pointed to one famous meal at the center of a Bible story, and she wasn’t talking about the Last Supper.

“(Jesus) cooked them brunch and took care of everybody,” Maulden said, referring to the story of the loaves and fish, when Jesus fed the 5,000. “That’s what we are here to do. Cook some hot dogs. These are our fish.”

Maulden knows how important it is to extend a loving arm to the community and said that now, it’s more important than ever.

“This community is a broken community,” Maulden said. “We have a lot of problems. We have hunger. We’ve got drugs, and we’ve got poverty. What we are trying to do is to let people know that we are here and we are open.

“It’s great having the people that we do. We’ve had great crowds every night, and if you call that progress, then we’ve had progress, but I’m looking for those on the fringe.”

On-site at the church is a prayer shed.

“Not a week goes by that I don’t pull out prayers that people have put out,” Maulden said. “The prayers are to stay sober or get sober. We are reaching some people through the prayer shed, but we would rather meet them face to face.”

Even if they don’t become regular attendees, Maulden is still looking for a connection, which is why she is open to having another revival away from the church, like in the nearby park.

“We’re talking about instead of having another one in the church, to have one in the park, under a tent, so that those who don’t feel comfortable coming in to a church will come,” Maulden said.

The value of those connections can be hard to quantify, but Maulden believes they could be lifesaving.

“I don’t know if they will ever come to church, but that’s not my goal,” Maulden said. “I know that is a terrible thing for a pastor to say. My goal is that they will see there are people in there that care about them, and they will come and be comfortable in a park. If we can get relationships — maybe somebody dies, and I show up with a pan of cookies — they will know somebody cares about them.

“I would rather have one person out there contemplating suicide to know that they could call me than to have 200 people sitting in my church every Sunday.”

Sunday was the first time that the church had held a car show.

“Aside from the rain, this has been great,” Maulden said.

Although it first appeared to be a downpour, the rain did let up in time for the car show to begin as scheduled.

Gold Hill resident Ken Wiseman shared two Doppler radar maps of a storm converging on the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

The first showed a storm heading straight for Gold Hill to hit during the show. Wiseman said they all prayed for it to pass. Maulden added it was the first time she had ever prayed for rain not to come. Sure enough, as the second map will show, the storm dissipated and cleared up in time for the car show.

Last weekend’s revival was the second at the church this year. They had one in March, and organizers from the weekend said they have an even larger one planned for later in the year.

“We’re going to be coming back in November when we will do ten straight nights of revival to introduce people to the Word of God,” Earnhardt said.

The Historic Methodist Church in Gold Hill holds service every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. It is located at 730 St. Stephens Church Road.