By Cindy Solomon

Tennessee Ridge United Methodist Church received a $10,000 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation. Money from the grant was used toward repairing and resurfacing an aging parking lot to increase safety and accessibility for all who attend.

Comprised primarily of older congregants, the small-membership church is on a charge with three additional churches forming the Tennessee River Charge of the Red River District. Pre-pandemic, members from all four churches regularly gathered for a weekly Bible study and special services such as Christmas Eve and fifth Sundays.

Several times a year, the church partners with an elementary school located across the street, bringing even more people onto the church’s campus and parking lot.

“One of the greatest obstacles facing our church was a parking lot full of potholes and broken and uneven pavement. While presenting a safety issue for all persons coming and going from the church, it was especially dangerous for those who were older and/or had mobility issues,” said trustees’ chair Howard Spurgeon.

Thanks in part to the grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, the resurfaced parking lot makes access to the church safer and more welcoming. The church is open now for worship following social distancing protocols. Plans are also underway for a post-COVID, community-wide bicycle rodeo.

“While few in members, Tennessee Ridge is alive with a mission heart and belief that the church has the potential to once again be a thriving place of worship in this small community,” said Spurgeon.