Small town changes affect small churches

Things in our small town are changing — some for the better, some not.  The town drugstore, Woodfin’s Pharmacy, closed earlier this summer.   A big drugstore chain bought them out, and moved all the prescriptions two miles out of town to the new store on US 29, a major north-south highway. 

Crider’s Tire also closed.  Crider’s had been in the tire, alignment, and light mechanic work for 40-years.  But, Walmart is coming within 10-miles of us, and business was already declining for them.  Crider’s property backs up to our church property, so it will be interesting to see who our new neighbors are.

But, on the upside of things Piedmont Access to Health Services, a non-profit healthcare provider, will move into the old drugstore building.  A new nursing home will be built in Chatham after a 10-year bureaucratic process with the state.  We don’t have  an intown doctor, or a nursing home closer than 10-miles away, so both are welcome additions to the community.

The new regional prison just opened.  The state promised us 400-jobs, and most of those have been filled now.  So, our economy has shifted from tobacco-raising, textile-producing to healthcare and correctional.  But you take what you can get. 

Things at our church are changing, too.  The Community Center is coming up out of the ground, and the Boys and Girls Club will move out of our facility into the community center in the spring of 2008.  Things will be quieter in our building, but the new center will allow us to accomodate over 100 kids a day, so we’re excited about that.

So life goes on in our small town.  In our 150-years of history, our church has seen lots of changes.  In the next 150-years we’ll see more.   In the meantime, we’re trying to adapt, be faithful, and transform our community by being salt and light.  Some days our light shines brighter than on others, but at least it’s still shining.  To God be the glory!