The Toms Brook United Methodist Church in May completed a mission at three churches located southwest of Richmond in Amelia County.

They scraped and painted one church and hung the Methodist Flame at another church in the Jetersville area.

“These are small, rural churches and what I heard most from them was ‘We can’t believe you traveled all this way to help us,’” said Pastor Stan Thompson.

Thompson has been the pastor at Toms Brook United Methodist Church for four years. This was the church’s first mission during his tenure.

Church members also went out into the communities to help residents by cutting down brush, mowing yards, tearing down old buildings, and hauling off old furniture and garbage. They also repaired a well.

“The people of the communities welcomed us as family,” said church member LaVon Stolt. “Each of us was an instrument of God’s love.”

They also visited nursing homes and schools to spend time with people and hand out Prayer Bears.

The congregation decided to go on a mission because they wanted to spread the word of God, Thompson said.

They also wanted to live their vision statement “Becoming the Community’s Church,” Thompson said.

The mission showed these small churches how to make themselves and faith relevant to the lives of those in the community as well, Thompson said, adding that relevancy is something critical to the survival of a church.

– Contact Melissa Topey at mtopey@nvdaily.com