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Faith in Rural Communities

Here at the NC Rural Center we believe there is a shared fate between rural churches and the communities they serve. A significant number of North Carolina’s 80 rural counties are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, with many facing compounding issues of aging populations, out-migration of youth, and worsening health outcomes. Luckily, rural faith communities are uniquely positioned to be institutions that provide the leadership necessary to spur their communities forward.

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.

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.

Our current partner churches are located in Ahoskie, Harmony, Mocksville, Murfreesboro, Pittsboro, Sanford, and Siler City. Additional training opportunities will be available in 2019. If you are part of a UMC congregation that is interested in participating in next year’s program, please contact us.