SNEEDVILLE, Tenn. (July 5, 2016) – For 25 years, teams from Centreville United Methodist Church have come to Jubilee Project for a week of summer mission work.
For the last 15 years, Centreville has organized a large cookout and hoedown for the community during their stay.
That’s why the 66 members of this year’s team were more than thrilled to host this year’s cookout on June 30 as the kickoff event for Jubilee Project’s 25th anniversary
“It’s just what we do every summer. If it’s the end of June, we should be here,” said Ken Huntsman, who has been traveling to Sneedville with the congregation from Centreville, Va., for the last 21 years.
Celebrating 25 years of outreach to low-income families in Hancock County, Jubilee Project invites the public to join in three additional events in August and October, said the Rev. Linda Stransky, executive director.
“All of the events will include a food, worship and service component,” she said. “We want to encourage people to come and celebrate with us.”
Aug. 12-13: A weekend for youth at the Flat Gap Center. Youth will arrive Friday night after 6 p.m. for fellowship and worship, followed by a day of service on Saturday. Participants are also welcome to come on Saturday only. Fellowship and worship will be led by youth.
Aug. 27: A day of service for men. Jubilee Project invites men to help complete projects started over the summer. Participants arriving Friday night may stay overnight at the Flat Gap Center or arrive on Saturday. Breakfast will be served 8-9 a.m.; devotions at 9 a.m.; then departure for service projects.
Oct. 15: A day of fellowship and service for women. Participants will join at Flat Gap Center for lunch and worship at 11 a.m., followed by a variety of service projects. Opportunities will vary according to age and ability.
Jubilee Project was started in 1991 by Steve and Diantha Hodges. Over the years it has provided food, clothing, clean water, home repair, youth ministry, and friendship to one of the poorest regions in the nation. Numerous teams and individuals have contributed funding, supplies and volunteer labor, developing longstanding relationships with the staff and community.
On their most recent trip, the Centreville team helped fix a floor in a mobile home and repaired another resident’s front stairs. They offered morning and afternoon Vacation Bible School sessions at two locations to 100 total children, played Bingo and did crafts at a nursing home; and played basketball with and grilled hamburgers for the community.
“This area is so isolated, and the people here had been so taken advantage of. When we first started coming here, it took a while for us to get things done,” said Huntsman. After years of building relationships, “the fact is the community now trusts us, and they look forward to seeing us come back.”
To join in Jubilee Project’s 25th anniversary celebration, contact (423) 733-4195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jubilee Project reorganizes, finds new ways to help the poor (The Call, 2/13/13)
Path out of poverty: Jubilee Project creates opportunities (The Call, 12/3/09)
Jubilee pleads for food, blankets, funds at Christmas (The Call, 10/30/09)
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newsletter.