Nahunta Friends Meeting
MINISTERS AND MINISTRY OF NAHUNTA FRIENDS MEETING:
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    Nahunta Meeting has been served by many good ministers. In earlier times, local and itinerant preachers served the meeting. Prior to 1925, the names of fourteen ministers are known. Since then, there have been twenty, each serving two or three years except for Jack Caughron who was pastor for twenty years (1966-1986) and Steve Lawrence who has pastored since 1989. Preceding 1964, Nahunta held worship services one Sunday a month, with Hood Swamp, Oakland, New Hope, and Nahunta sharing a pastor. Afterwards, Nahunta and Oakland shared the same pastor, holding services two Sundays a month with Nahunta furnishing the parsonage. In 1964, Nahunta began employing a pastor full time. Adlie Barefoot began to hold Sunday morning and evening services during his pastorate (1963-1966). His leadership left a lasting impact in that he set the present committee structure. He believed all committees should function effectively and report monthly to the meeting.

    Of the thirty-four known pastors, two have been women: Lola Simpson and Lela Sills Garner. Pastor Garner had a great influence on the lives of many as a result of her sincere dedication and soul-searching sermons.

    During Jack Caughron's pastorate, great emphasis was placed on Bible study and other study courses. Missions was an area in which he inspired interest so that for years, the meeting enthusiastically supported missions with finances as well as hosting conferences and sending workers to mission work camps.

    After Jack Caughron's retirement in 1986, Dale Matthews served Nahunta Friends. His fine voice and the musical talents of his wife, Marilyn, were certainly assets to the music of the meeting. Marilyn taught piano lessons to several young people in the meeting. Dale's visiting ministry was much appreciated, particularly by the shut-ins and older members. In 1989, Steve Lawrence became the pastor. He has brought to Nahunta the gift of prayer. Prayers have been answered and the meeting has been blessed. His thoughtful and Biblically-based sermons have also been a blessing, as well as his beautiful tenor voice and the voices of his wife, Carol, and daughters, Stephanie and Lettie. Carol's ministry is rich and varied, and much appreciated.

    In 1981, the meeting experienced an inner renewal through a Lay Witness Weekend. Ministry and Counsel had engaged in daily prayer meetings prior to the weekend when twenty-five Christians from Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, and North Carolina arrived. After intense sharing of God's love, most of the eighty-five who participated from Nahunta in coffee hours, testimonials, fellowship meals, and praise, sensed a renewed desire to grow in the knowledge of God's love and to share it with others. This enthusiasm resulted in twenty-four people becoming active members, seventeen by profession of faith and seven by transfer. Soon after, a men's prayer breakfast was organized and continues to meet as does one of the cottage prayer groups. Two Bible study groups formed. The spiritual uplift seemed evident through increased church attendance and in a greater feeling of oneness and compassion for others.

    The spiritual condition report of the year 1981 ends by saying, "Our desire is that the inner renewal of our members will grow into an even greater movement. We have caught a glimpse of a closer walk and of the opportunities awaiting us. May this glimpse enlarge into a broader look which will encompass not only ourselves, the individual members, but the total membership and the mission fields we encounter daily."

    Ministry and Counsel also started having cottage prayer meetings six weeks prior to revival. Out of this grew the desire to reach out to Woodard's Care rest home for monthly sharing times of devotions and singing.

    In 1973, Ministry and Counsel initiated the publication of a quarterly news letter with Doris Gurley as editor for thirteen years and Elizabeth Caughron as typist. Originally it was called the "Nahunta Pow-Wow." Dale Matthews became editor during his pastorate followed by Andrea Moen who was editor of both the newsletter and the children's newsletter. Presently, newsletters are edited by Sheila Pate-Main and Linda Holcomb, and the children's newsletters are edited by Jackie Hare. Ministry and Counsel members have always delivered the newsletters either by hand or mail.

    During the 1980's, for several years, members gathered annually one Sunday in July at the Wildlife Pond to participate in Sunday School and worship. After a worship service by the lakeside, members shared a picnic lunch followed by boating, swimming, and games such as horseshoe, volleyball, scrabble or dominoes.

    A long-standing tradition at Nahunta has been Homecoming the second Sunday in October. Returning former members and friends along with present members fill the meeting house for a worshipful experience at which the roll is called of present members and memorials are given for those who have passed on to glory. Following this event, lunches are spread out on the tables and a blessed fellowship takes place. In earlier years, wire tables were used outside, but when the Fellowship Hall was completed in 1977, the meal was spread inside for an air-conditioned and bug-less fellowship.

    It has been customary for a week's revival to follow Homecoming, but for the last few years, two four-day revivals have been scheduled, one in the spring and one in the fall.

    A prayer chain was organized in 1986 and continues as a means of sharing common concerns. A Nurturing Committee has been formed with regularly scheduled visits in the community to those who are sick and homebound.

    In 1991, to fulfill several needs, including recognizing visitors, attendance records were placed in the pews for all to sign each Sunday.

    Once annually, Gideons hold worship services at Nahunta. During this time an offering is taken for the organization, Offerings taken each month at the men's prayer breakfast also go to the Gideons.

    In the summer of 1989, Nahunta Friends invited the local churches to join together to pray for rain. After the rain, the churches met to express gratitude to Almighty God for answered prayer. They then decided to continue to meet each Tuesday at different churches to worship and to pray for each other and for other needs that arise. In 1993, Little Rock Church, a black Baptist church, joined the group. Out of this group came the idea of community-wide Thanksgiving services which have been held on a rotating basis since 1991.

    Two young people have gone into full-time Christian service: Jean Edgerton and Mark Caughron. After working effectively several years with the young people of Nahunta, Jean Edgerton entered full-time ministry at Archdale Friends Meeting in 1991 as Associate Pastor. She was recorded as a Friends Minister at Yearly Meeting in 1994. Mark Caughron is serving as Associate Pastor at Holly Spring Friends Meeting, and was recorded at Yearly Meeting in 1996. Another member, James Bryce, was recommended to the care of the Recording Committee in 1991, attended Barclay College in Kansas, continued his education in South Carolina, pastored a Friends meeting in Moore County, N. C., is back home in Tarboro, and plans to further his education. Harry Moen, our gifted and dedicated treasurer, was placed under the care of the Recording Committee for supply pastoring in 1992. He has ably filled the pulpit at Nahunta, as well as other pulpits in the quarter. Steve Lawrence stresses a ministry for each member, using gifts.

    Formerly made up of nine elders in the meeting, Ministry and Counsel currently has some members who are in their twenties and thirties. Many young adults are assuming strong leadership roles in the meeting.

Nahunta Friends Meeting 2537 NC 581 North Pikeville, NC 27863 919-242-4624