New feature to tell stories of area churches

Published 10:25 am Monday, November 17, 2008

I’d like to share your church’s story with the people who read this newspaper.

I believe churches are the heart of communities like those in the four counties served by this newspaper.

With that in mind, I am going to write a weekly feature on an area church.

To prepare that story, I will visit with the church’s pastor.

There will be three main components of each church’s story:

First, I want to include a summary of the church’s history.

Second, I want to talk about its facilities.

Third, I want to talk about its programs.

I’ll also make a picture of the church, probably with its pastor in the foreground.

If there is a written history of the church, I’d like to have a copy of that.

I’ve done this in other places and know from experience that those histories can be in very different formats.

Sometimes there is no written history. What I write after talking to the preacher may be the first attempt at recording that church’s history.

Sometimes the church’s history is typed on one sheet or on several sheets, probably stapled together. Sometimes it has been a long time since it was updated.

And one time, when I asked if I could have a written history of his church, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Kosciusko, Mississippi, handed me a 3-inch thick, hardbound, professionally published book that included not only lots and lots of text, but literally hundreds of pictures.

I’ve written about great big churches and little bitty churches over the years. Without exception, though, those stories have been worthwhile because the churches upon which they have focused have been so important in the lives of their members.

I hope you will help me with my project.

All I need you to do is call (or write or send e-mail) and tell me how I can get in touch with your pastor. Tell me the name of your church and where it is located, your pastor’s name, and how I can get in touch with him (a phone number). I’ll take it from there. I’ll call him and make an appointment for a time when he and I can get together and talk. All he needs to do is meet me at the church.

If you want to call me, my direct number is 252-332-7218.

If you want to send e-mail, send it to

If you want to write, mail your letter to me at Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, P.O. Box 1325, Ahoskie, NC 27910.

We’ll start running the series as soon as I’ve had a chance to talk to two or three pastors and have written the stories about their churches. That’s selfish. It gives me a head start and will take care of me when I’m sick one week or a pastor forgets our appointment or something else happens.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

David Sullens is president of Roanoke-Chowan Publications LLC, and publisher of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald and Gates County Index.