A church in Knightdale is making a difference at home and abroad one cup of coffee at a time.
Northside Community Church welcomes congregants with a fresh, hot cup of coffee before each service. The coffee beans are changing lives in Rwanda.
The church brews Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, which was founded in 2005 by social entrepreneur Jonathan Golden as an opportunity to help Rwanda heal from genocide and civil war.
Coffee is Rwanda’s greatest national export. Land of a Thousand Hills is committed to paying living wages to farmers and engaging in direct and fair trade without any middlemen.
That model pumps money into families and communities. One of the ways the coffee is distributed is through partnerships with churches.
Northside Community Church leaders found out about Land of a Thousand Hills while visiting other churches as part of a plan to move out of the storefront where they met. A church in Hope Mills had the coffee, said Adrian Dixon, Northside’s founding pastor.
“We got back and instead of taking away building ideas we came away with the coffee idea,” Dixon said. “We wanted to get behind it because that is in our DNA of who we are as a church.”
Northside has been worshiping together for 15 years in Knightdale. Four years ago, the congregation bought the Methodist church building in downtown Knightdale and renovated it as a permanent home. The church is about to grow physically, and the coffee theme will come into play again.
“We’re getting ready to start a building expansion that is going to include a coffee shop for downtown Knightdale that will be open every day,” Dixon said. “We have really seen it as a unique connection. We really want to be a community church in every sense of the word and part of that is knowing that a lot of people connect over coffee in a community space.”
The congregation hopes to break ground next year and open in late 2018 or 2019. It’s not clear yet if the coffee shop will sell Land of a Thousand Hills, but it will continue to be served for free before worship services.
In addition to the coffee shop, the new building project will also create a children’s ministry center.
Land of a Thousand Hills products aren’t just available at churches. Individual orders of coffee, accessories and merchandise are also available online at www.landofathousandhills.com.
Northside Community Church meets at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sundays at 621 N. First Ave., Knightdale, For more information, go to www.northsidecommunity.com.
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