Nashville church’s summer mission trip in mountains is canceled for 1st time in 52 years

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NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A service trip that brings thousands together every summer has now been canceled for the first time in more than 50 years due to the coronavirus.

Volunteers with the Nashville United Methodist Church like to spend part of their summers, helping those in need. ​

“When we all got the message that it was canceled we were all really hurt because you make memories, you’re doing work but you’re doing it together and you can see the changes you’re making in communities,” said volunteer Anna Powell.

For the first time in 52 years the Appalachian Service Project has been canceled because of COVID-19. The mission trip brings 15,000 volunteers from various states together doing work on hundreds of homes near the Appalachian Mountains. ​

“This ministry has been going on for 52 summers and we’re still serving over 600 homes each summer that there’s still that much need to help those people up there and now they’re going to go a whole summer without receiving that help,” trip coordinator Lewis Smith said.

This year, the church would have had 52 volunteers spending a week in June repairing roofs, floors, and installing handicap ramps. It’s a tremendous need that will now go unmet until next summer.

“There’s something else about going to another state, another county and serving, serving their community being with a group and just doing good work out there,” said Powell.

But there is a silver lining to all of this. Nashville United Methodist Church Pastor Scott Dodson says they’re looking into using the money they’ve raised and the extra time to do some good in communities closer to home in North Carolina.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to do some work locally that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.” ​

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