Mt. Hermon has long been known for its rich history of outreach and mission. Since the first German settlers arrived in North Carolina in the 1700’s, Lutherans have played a vital role in the life of Cabarrus County. Mt. Hermon’s legacy as a congregation committed to outreach began in its very roots when a need was recognized for a Lutheran place of worship in this part of the county.
While cataloging a chronological history of Mt. Hermon is critical to honoring our heritage and ministry, this small space is insufficient for that purpose, and a full accounting is available in the church office. This writing will focus on the life of Mt. Hermon since the publication of our last directory in 2010.
After nearly ten years at Mt. Hermon, Dr. Norbert Hahn accepted a call to a congregation in Athens, Georgia, prompting a search for an interim pastor. Pastor Keith Copeland guided the congregation through a time of transition and preparation to call the next pastor. The Rule of Love, a covenant of mutual respect among congregants, was created. Lisa McKinnon completed her education as an Associate in Ministry and was called to serve as Coordinator of Community Building; thus joining Linda Beauregard, Administrator and Ministry Coordinator, and Betty Love, Administrative Secretary, as a staff member.
On October 7, 2012, Mt. Hermon broke with tradition and called its first female pastor. With celebration, the Reverend Carrie Bishop was installed on October 21, 2012, by The Rev. Kim Trabold, the regional Dean for Cabarrus/Stanly Counties. Through the ministry of Interim Pastor Keith Copeland, Mt. Hermon had adopted a mission “to inspire God’s community.” Pastor Carrie was very drawn to this mission and decidedly made efforts to retain a balance between Kingdom In, Kingdom On, and Kingdom Off.
During Pastor Carrie’s first year, Betty Love, our beloved Secretary of thirty plus years, had fallen gravely ill and joined the Church Triumphant on April 28, 2013. Ministering to the grief that so many folks suffered became an important part of Pastor Carrie’s transitional ministry. While strengthened in Christ’s promise of the resurrection, a cloud of grief shadowed many in the congregation. In fact, since October 2012, ten funerals have been held; many for long-standing members who had provided years of service to the Lord at the only church they had ever known. All of this grief took its toll and Pastor Carrie endeavored to acknowledge the dignity of their faithful work while offering hope for the community that so deeply felt this grief.
It became apparent to Pastor Carrie that our hope would rise as our community grew closer in mission. Breathe in—breathe out! This became a constant mantra for Pastor Carrie as she visioned the future of Mt. Hermon. Through encouraging activities that would bridge our various worshipping communities, Pastor Carrie focuses on both in-house and out-reach mission.
Within the sanctuary of Mt. Hermon, faith development continues from the youngest to the oldest. This has resulted in receiving 23 new members in 2013 and 12 in 2014. For pre-school to elementary aged students, a Sunday School Rotation model continues. Our active Youth group meets weekly for fellowship and study, as well as mission projects. Our joint Confirmation program with other Lutheran congregations allows students to learn and interact monthly and participate in Campfirmation at Lutheridge.
Our doors are always open, both to the congregation and to the extended community. With regular meetings of the Quilter’s group, Bible Study, AA, Food Addicts Anonymous, English as a Second Language, Men in Mission, and WELCA, Mt. Hermon is truly reaching out! During Christmas of 2013, we celebrated all of our volunteer musicians by hosting a cantata and recognizing Peggy Faggart Morgan in honor of over 50 years of service as our volunteer organist. Following in her footsteps, Jo Ann Foster has also contributed years of service. Through all these fellowship venues, faith development remains strong!
These struggles have not dampened our mission “to inspire God’s community.” As Mt. Hermon reaches out to the community with “God’s Work, Our Hands,” we strive to carry this mission “to the ends of the earth.” The calling of Lisa McKinnon has greatly shaped this mission. While Mt. Hermon has always been concerned about the needs of the community, recently we have begun to reach out across this nation, through our mission trip to Biloxi, Mississippi and an outreach to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast. Through Living Waters for the World, members of Mt. Hermon lead a mission team to teach a community in Honduras to install and maintain a water filtration system. This provides that community with years of safe and healthy living water.
Whether it be spiritual development, faithful encouragement of members and neighbors or touching the lives with God’s love, surely Mt Hermon is striving to fulfill its mission, “to inspire God’s community,” at home and across the world!