As the year comes to a close, folks make more time for reflection and appreciation. This time of year is the best time to celebrate your blessings with family and friends in a fun, spiritual environment where you feel accepted and connected. If you’re new to the area, you’re in luck: The mountains of North Carolina are filled with love, light, and the Holy Spirit. There are places of worship for people of all faiths to give thanks, praise, and celebrate with a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.
Listed below are some of the popular churches in the NC foothills that are worth paying a visit this holiday season and beyond:
St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church Lenoir NC – St. Francis of Assisi is a Roman Catholic Church that welcomes new parishioners and all seasonal visitors. They offer Mass in both English and Spanish and at different times throughout the week to accommodate all kinds of busy schedules. The church offers Faith Formation classes, a Youth Group for teens, as well as The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) – which is designed to further educate those who want to become Roman Catholic or who have already been baptized. Parish registration forms are available in the church office during office hours, or online atstfrancislenoir.com.
Saturday Vigil Mass: In English – 5:00 PM. In Spanish – 7:00 PM. Sunday Mass Times: In English – 9:00 AM. In Spanish – 11:30 AM. Spanish. Daily Masses: Tuesday through Friday at 12:00 PM Mass on Holy Days of Obligation: Holy Day Vigil Mass – 7:00 PM. Location: 328-B Woodsway Lane NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. Contact: (828)-754-5281.
Waterlife Church Lenoir NC – The mission of Waterlife Church is to lead people into a “knowing, growing, and going” relationship with Jesus. Middle and high school students can become a part of H20 Students, where they can learn to apply God’s word to their lives in a fun and relevant environment. During each worship service, Waterlife KIDS meets upstairs where children learn through stories, songs, and having fun with each other. In a Life Group, adults meet weekly in homes to build relationships with each other and with God. Waterlife also values serving and holds a 30-minute “First Serve” class where they help people connect to the serving opportunity that suits them best.
Sunday Service: 9:00 AM & 10:30 AM. H20 Students: 5:00-6:30 PM. Location: 1913 Hickory Blvd. SE (Broyhill Civic Center) Lenoir, NC. Contact: (828)-573-3201
Temple Beth Shalom Hickory NC – Temple Beth Shalom is an independent reform Jewish congregation that welcomes members of all age and family configurations. They invite visitors of all faiths to join them in fellowship. Temple Beth Shalom offers Sunday School, Adult Education, as well as The Sisterhood – a group of women with diverse interests who hold monthly meetings to learn more about the Jewish faith and contribute to the community. All women – Jewish or non – are invited to join The Sisterhood, and can do so by sending $36 payable to TBS Sisterhood, and mailing to P.O. Box 9142, Hickory, NC 28603.
Friday Service: 7:30 PM. Saturday Morning Service: 10:00 AM. Sunday School: 10:00 AM. Location: 4360 N. Center St. Hickory, NC 28601. Contact: (828)-327-4081
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church Hickory NC – If you’re interested in spreading faith and love through volunteer work, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church provides a variety of options to give back to your community. In the Community Ministry, Mt. Olive offers Micah’s Cupboard, which strives to assist the needs of local school children and their families during school breaks and vacation; the Mt. Olive Global Ministry Team, which coordinates efforts with global missionaries; and the Mt. Olive Ministry Foundation. Inc., which works to provide scholarships to Lutheran Education Institutions.
In the Action Ministry, Tying and Tacking Girls are a group of quilters who meet weekly with the goal to provide warmth for the needy children of God – wherever they are. The Flower Ministry creates flower arrangements from donated altar flowers. Crotchet and knitting enthusiasts are invited to join in the Prayer Shawl project. There is also a Music Ministry that provides opportunities for adults, teens, and children as young as 4.
Sunday: Sunday School – 9 AM. Worship with Holy Communion – 10:00 AM. Congregation Meeting – 11:00 AM. Location: 2780 North Center Street Hickory, NC 28601. Contact: (828)-324-6198
First Baptist Church of Morganton NC – First Baptist Church prides itself on being a dedicated, diverse, and devout community of Christians who believes in making every member a minister. There are ministries available for preschool children, senior adults, deaf members of the community, singers and musicians, and even sponsor both a Boy Scout and Girl Scout troupe. Enjoy a lively and spiritual service in one of western North Carolina’s most comfortable sanctuaries.
Sunday: Sunday School – 9:45 AM. Worship – 10:55 AM. Youth Choir – 4:15 PM. Youth Snack Supper – 5:30 PM. Youth Snack Super Session – 6:00 PM. Wednesday: Children’s Choirs (Grades 1 to 5) – 4:30 PM. Preschool Choir – 5:30 PM. Church Family Night Blessings & Celebrations – 6:15 PM. Children & Youth Missions – 6:30 PM. Location: 502 West Union St. Morganton, NC 28680. Contact: (828)-437-2544
Islamic Center of Morganton NC – The Islamic Center of Morganton is a mosque that holds services offering all prayers including formal jumaa. The Islamic Center does not believe in separating genders and allows women to serve on its board of directors.
Friday: Khutbah – 1:30 PM Location: 203 Bethel St. Morganton, NC. 28655. Contact: (828)-439-9487
When people move, finding a warm and friendly house of worship is on the top of many peoples’ lists. This particular list is just a handful of wonderful places near The Coves Mountain River Club, a beautiful mountain community tucked away in the NC foothills.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.