130th Homecoming Celebration is set for Sunday, Sept. 9, at Lester's Chapel UMC in Jackson


By Julia Rebecca Thornton, Pianist, Lester’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Jackson, TN
Lester's Chapel United Methodist Church (UMC) in Jackson, Tennessee, will celebrate 130 years of faithful service at its annual homecoming celebration on Sunday, Sept. 9.

The church is located at 782 Harts Bridge Road in Jackson.
We divide the Homecoming Celebration into two parts--one at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m. The first part is a memorial service for members who have passed away during the year. We also light a candle for first responders, including the branches of the military. People are free to share tributes during this special time.
In this service we tell the history of Lester's Chapel for the last 130 years, and the youth will speak of plans for the future 130 years. Then we have a time for members to share personal memories of their own experiences at our wonderful church.
After a short "meet and greet" break, we have the main service, which is more traditional.
In both services we have special music from current and former members, prayers and beloved hymns. This year we are including a contemporary one, "Hold Us Together."  After a short reflection by Dr. Joseph Thornton, pastor, we feast!
Our Homecoming dinners are looked forward to each year, as we all bring our best dishes and desserts to accompany the fried chicken and barbecue.  
Later, anyone who wants to visit our beautiful cemetery is encouraged to do so.  It is kept in lovely condition by some of our members.
Dr. Joseph Thornton has served Lester's Chapel UMC as pastor for 37 years while also serving educational institutions.
This church gives away to the needy every cent of the proceeds received from its twice-a-year fundraising events in addition to helping people who have special needs throughout the year. Recently, a new roof was installed on the house of an elderly person our youth had known as a cafeteria worker in their school. The funds were provided by the church, and the work was done by members. This is only one example of our outreach to people who aren't connected to our church.
Every Sunday our lay minister, James Ellington, gives this call-and-response: "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good."  We are a small congregation with an average attendance of 40, but our outreach is great. It is a treasure of the heart to be part of such a giving church.  
Our services are on Facebook each Sunday, and we have a website: lesterschapelumc.weebly.com.
MORE INFO: Julia Rebecca Thornton, thorntonrebecca12@gmail.com