'Happy dance': Morristown gives $9,632 to dig wells in Hancock Co.

'Happy dance': Morristown gives $9,632 to dig wells in Hancock Co.

Morristown District members dance after receiving an offering for wells in rural Tennessee.


Morristown District members did a "happy dance" Aug. 21 after a four-night district revival, the Rev. Tom Ballard reports.

"In addition to the good preaching of folks who grew up in the district ... and our own Bishop [Mary Virginia] Taylor, we had set an offering goal of $4,000 to dig a well in Hancock County through Jubilee Project," said Ballard, Morristown District superintendent.

"We thought it was an ambitious goal since last year over four nights, the total offering was $2,800 for Jubilee but without a real focus," he added.

Attendance ranged from 107 the first night to 251 the final night. Revival preachers for the week included the Rev. Ron Matthews at Liberty Hill UMC on Sunday night, the Rev. Nathan Malone at Mosheim Central UMC on Monday night, the Rev. Lauri Jo Cranford at Ebenezer (Talbott) UMC on Tuesday night, and Bishop Taylor at First Newport UMC on Wednesday night.

"We emphasized how local congregations help shape future leaders, even when they may not realize it," Ballard said. The revival theme was "Imagine."

The Sunday night offering was $2,337 for the well, Ballard said. "We thought that perhaps we would be able to dig one well after all."

After the third night, participants exceeded their goal. "We challenged folks to dig a second well on the fourth night. Thinking that we would come within a few hundred dollars, again we were overwhelmed."

On the final night with Taylor's preaching, $1,000 from the Holston Conference Foundation, and stories from Jubilee Project, "we were able to announce a single night’s offering of over $5,100, for a grand total for the week of $9,632," Ballard said. "We are on our way to digging the third well."

Two members of the revival planning team said that if enough was raised to dig the second well, they would do "the happy dance," Ballard said. "It wasn't a pretty dance but it was happy, and we give God thanks for this bright spot in Morristown District."

Morristown District is home to 109 churches, served by 75 pastors. The churches are located in east Tennessee's Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson and Sevier Counties.

See also: "Jubilee Project reorganizes, finds new ways to help the poor in Hancock County" (The Call, 2/5/13)