The United Shiloh Missionary Baptist Association made news this week as it stepped up to address climate change and help take care of God’s creation.
A couple of weeks ago, United Church of Chapel Hill announced its move to solar energy to run its own campus and be an example to other congregations.
Shiloh’s project was not a result of that prompt, however, but the result of a former moderator of the association who says he received “a vision from God.”
The association, which includes black congregations in Vance, Warren, Granville and Franklin counties, broke ground Nov. 21 for a 5,000-megawatt solar farm near Norlina in Warren County, one of the poorest counties in North Carolina.
The association has partnered with AFG & Co., an investment firm, under the name United Shiloh Solar. The project’s projected completion date is Dec. 31.
“God gave me a vision regarding the use of solar energy and the first idea the association came up with was a solar farm,” says the Rev. William T. Ramey III, pastor of Ridgeway Missionary Baptist Church in Henderson.
The association owns 60 acres in Warren County, a site that housed a school 100 years ago and then reverted to farm land that has been rented over the years.
Recently, with the decline of farming in the area, the land has been allowed to grow up with trees that were subsequently harvested for timber. The land remains fallow but the association has developed a long-range plan to construct a headquarters building at the site. The site is big enough for both the solar array and the proposed headquarters, Ramey said.
The $11 million solar project is located on 30 acres of the 60-acre site. Its developers say the revenue generated there will help fund economic development opportunities in the four-county area.
The Shiloh Association has a membership of about 3,000, according to Ramey, who said some of the congregations include Latino as well as non-Hispanic white members.
The investment firm owns 51 percent of the partnership and the Baptist Association 49 percent. Profits will go to 41 churches to feed hungry people, to increase student achievement and to pay for college.
The solar farm is not the only part of the vision the Baptist Association has claimed.
“We hope to make solar panels available to every one of our 41 churches,” Ramey said.
Oscar C. Fields, a solar energy consultant and renewable energy specialist with an office in Durham is the project developer.
Ramey said the project is generating interest around the state. Emmy award winning producer Dante James is developing a documentary for PBS to explore this unique faith-based approach to community regeneration with funds from renewable, clean solar energy.
100 Men in Black
The Christmas concert by 100 Men in Black is set for 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at King’s Park International Church, 1305 Odyssey Drive.
Special guests will include the Durham Symphony Orchestra with music director William Henry Curry, gospel recording artist Marhetta Parker and Minister Fred Jones Jr. of the Mime Ministry.
The sanctuary at King’s Park where the Durham-based group has previously held two of its annual concerts seats 2,000.
The 100 Men is partnering with the symphony on part of Handel’s “Messiah” and the symphony will perform Christmas music independent of the chorus.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets available at Hayti Heritage Center, 803 Old Fayetteville St. or at www.tickets.com. Call 919-225-2460 for more information.
Duke University public policy service-learning Students will present their research on insuring firearms to fairly compensate victims of firearm injury or death at the Community Luncheon Roundtable at noon Thursday, Dec. 3, at Shepherds House United Methodist Church, 107 N. Driver St.
Enter the church fellowship hall in back of the building near the playground.
Lunch is free and provided by CORE Catering. No RSVP needed. All are welcome.
Quilts on display
More than 30 quilts, both heirloom and contemporary, will be on display from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in the fellowship hall of Hillsborough Presbyterian Church, 102 W. Tryon St.
Exhibition quilts are not for sale, but raffle tickets will be offered on a special queen-size quilt called “Tennessee Blues.”
Visitors are invited to enjoy free refreshments and to shop for handmade crafts and small quilts produced by the church’s Sew n’ Sews and from a collection of imported items from One World Market in Durham.
Proceeds will support church projects that assist people in developing countries.
Sunday, Dec. 6, the second Sunday in Advent, the children at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1320 Umstead Road, will present “Baby Born in Bethlehem” at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary.
The setting is Caesar Network News where two young reporters in Bethlehem are competing to find the story that will make them a star. Will they find the Good News?
The talented children of the church, the community and the after school program will do the acting in an event that’s designed to keep the real Christmas story as its focus.
The event is open to all.
Contact Flo Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-361-4135.