Fall Apple Butter Festival

Each year, the church conducts a Fall Apple Butter Festival to raise money solely for missions. Homemade apple butter is made the “old fashioned way,” over open fires in large kettles. The proceeds, which come from the sale of apple butter, baked goods, breakfast, lunch and rummage sale items and donations, are divided among local, regional, national and international charities. This church-wide event brings the church and local community together in a fun and worthwhile event.

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The Bright Hope Laurel United Methodist Church Memorial Scholarship was begun in 2015 when the church received a generous donation from the family of Irving Washington who valued and supported education all his life.  Since then, the church has received additional donations for scholarships from families of other members of the congregation, both living and deceased. Scholarships are awarded to local students based on academics, extracurricular activities, community service and need. Applications, are due May 1.  Click here to download.

Food Pantry

Located in the heart of green rolling hills and breath-taking vistas of Western North Carolina’s Madison County, the Upper Laurel Food Pantry Program strives to reach the county population’s fourteen percent, including over 3,000 children, who are food insecure. Not knowing if and when you’ll eat again leads to an avalanche of health issues and impedes the ability to concentrate and study. Every Saturday, rain or shine, year round, church volunteers staff the food pantry distributing food donated by church members, The Lord’s Harvest and others. All are welcome to visit the pantry site adjacent to the Ebbs Chapel Community Center behind our church. Volunteers also deliver food to needy families throughout the county. We are blessed with a congregation unfailingly generous in helping to keep the panty well stocked.

Shawl & Quilt Mission

The Bright Hope Laurel UMC Prayer Quilt & Shawl group began in 2011. We make these quilts and shawls for people who are ill in body, mind, or spirit.  Ed Ponder was our first recipient. Since our humble beginnings we have been blessed to be able to bless others with over 150 quilts and shawls. The central concept is that each stitch is a prayer for the person who receives it. When a shawl or quilt is to be given to someone, it is brought to church and placed on the altar. Members of the congregation come to the altar during the final hymn to pray for the recipient and to tie a “prayer knot”. In addition to stitching, we pray together and serve as a sisterhood of friends. Our group meets each Monday morning at 10 a.m. 

Thanksgiving Baskets and Meals

Each Thanksgiving, the church prepares fruit baskets for 40 or more local shut-ins. In addition, we participate with other Madison County churches and organizations to prepare and deliver complete Thanksgiving meals to around 100 country families.