Change is clearly on the forefront at multiple Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) across the Carolinas currently, as MCC of the Upstate has relocated and two other Carolina-area churches are facing pastoral changes.
Joe Cobb will take over as pastor at MCC Winston-Salem beginning March 8.
According to Upstate’s pastor Rev. Donna Stroud, her congregation just recently made the decision to move to another facility after negotiations to purchase a church built more than a century ago fell through.
“The owner said he had two-and-a-half acres and he had just over one -and-a-half. He didn’t want to negotiate on the price, so we decided we didn’t want to make the purchase.”
Stroud told her congregation that she felt all too often those in the LGBT community are taken advantage of and that to buy the facility would be a mistake. “We had to stand up for ourselves,” explains Stroud, “and say thats not right.
Since that decision the church has relocated to the downtown area of Duncan, S.C. in a 210-year-old building that once housed a bank. “It’s the first building that went up in downtown Duncan,” says Stroud. “We’ve got more space and it’s pretty comfortable.”
For now, the church is leasing that space, but plans to continue shopping for a facility they can actually purchase.
MCC of the Upstate is now located at 151 W. Main St., in Duncan.
At MCC Charlotte, Pastor Mick Hinson is resigning Feb. 18, after spending more than eight years at that church. As of now, a replacement has not been chosen.
Originally from Alabama, Hinson spent six years at MCC Greenville before coming to Charlotte in 1998.
He’ll now become the pastor of MCC San Antonio.
According to Hinson, the time he has spent in Charlotte has been rewarding, but both he and his partner Gene felt that it was time to make a move to another area.
“I had been doing some praying and I felt I had done what I could do here, so I asked God to tell me if I should move on.”
Hinson admits he’s somewhat melancholy about the move, but is looking forward to the future.
“Just as I am going on to MCC San Antonio, I know that God has someone special for Charlotte,” he offers. “This church has helped me grow as an individual. It’s been a wonderful gift.”
With the recent departure of Mark Byrd from MCC Winston-Salem, Roanoke, Va., resident Joe Cobb is poised to step in and fill his shoes.
Currently the Director of Interfaith Hospitality Network, an organization that provides housing and food for homeless individuals, Cobb will take over the reigns at MCC Winston-Salem beginning March 8.
Previously a United Methodist minister, Cobb joined MCC just over five years ago. His ordination was completed last Oct. 8 in Roanoke, Va.
Originally from Wichita, Kan., Cobb is enthusiastic about the move to Winston-Salem and his new role as pastor with the town’s MCC.
“I’m very excited about what I’ve observed in Winston-Salem, Roanoke and other cities. I think it’s a great time to be part of MCC.”