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Faith in Rural Communities

The Faith in Rural Communities initiative partners with churches throughout the state to assess their congregational assets and opportunities for community engagement. This training supports community growth and nurtures leadership in rural communities. The goal of this work is the creation of high-impact projects that will benefit both the economic and social well-being of the communities served.

Our partner churches are located in Ahoskie, Boonville, Elizabeth City, Fairmont, Harmony, Henderson, Murfreesboro, Pittsboro, Ramseur, Raeford, Robbinsville, Sanford, Siler City, Snow Camp, and Whiteville. If you are interested in more information, please contact us.

Thanks to a five-year grant from The Duke Endowment, the NC Rural Center will be working with 64 United Methodist churches over the next five years to build more economically-dynamic and socially-inclusive communities in rural North Carolina.


CONNECT Coaching

Connect supports churches in increasing their community engagement through coaching, resources, and grant assistance.  Participating churches create a team of 6 – 8 church members interested in leading their church’s local missional engagement work.  These teams meet monthly with a Rural Center coach. The program assists the church in determining their resources, understanding the trends and opportunities in the larger community, and develop a strategic plan for increasing their impact outside the walls of the church.  

Contact Heather Kilbourne, Faith in Rural Communities Project Manager, for more information.

If you church is interested in applying for the program, complete this brief application.  

This program is provided free to rural United Methodist Churches through a grant from The Duke Endowment.  Scholarships are available to other denominations. Contact Heather Kilbourne for more information.


New Video Series

We are launching a new video series focused on the churches that have participated in our Faith in Rural Communities program. Our first video is on Smith Grove UMC and the partnerships they formed to address mental health in a Davie County middle school.