A more liberal church, led around by a more liberal culture, soon became no church at all.  But that’s changing.

North Bennington, VT. – After three decades as a home to pigeons rather than parishioners, a 175-year-old stone church with Presbyterian roots is once again filled with song on a warm Sunday morning. This time around, however, the brand of faith carries a new tune, one that would be more familiar in Mississippi than Vermont.

Hallelujah religion is a-rising in Yankee country. As liberal congregations die in a secularizing region, conservative churches with roots outside New England are replacing them with a passionate brand of faith that emphasizes saving souls – even in a land where many think there’s nothing to be saved from.

A Christian Science Monitor article entitles "Evangelicals March North" details how conservative evangelicals from the south are filling in the gaps.  They’re doing this by doing what churches should do best; ministering to the community.

"Vermonters aren’t interested in a pie-in-the-sky, ‘I’m better than you’ kind of faith," says Terry Dorsett, the Southern Baptist Convention’s director of missions for Vermont. "But a roll-up-the-sleeves-and-help-my-community kind of faith? There are a lot of Vermonters interested in that."

New churches are building good- will by addressing needs outside their doors. Example: Last summer, during renovations of what is now Mettowee Valley Church in West Pawlet, Vt., locals joined with teams from North Carolina to rebuild an elderly neighbor’s collapsing porch. In Barre, Vt., members of five-year-old Faith Community Church regularly serve at the Open Door Soup Kitchen.

These are individuals, not inefficient government programs, going out and helping those in need.  And it’s working. 

In eight years, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has more than doubled its Vermont church count, from 17 to 37.

Let’s pray it continues.

Filed under: ChristianityReligion

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