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Woodburn Presbyterian Approaches Its second Century With New Pastor

Nearly 100 years ago, in 1922, members of Wilmington’s First Presbyterian Church founded the Woodburn Chapel as a home for some Sunday school classes. Today, Woodburn has become Leland and the Woodburn Presbyterian Church is welcoming a new pastor to lead it into its centennial year.

The church sanctuary building on Village Road was constructed in 1924, and expanded in 1944 and 1954, primarily by its members. Soon after its founding, the Women of the Church and Men of the Church groups were organized, and they remain active today.

In the beginning, the church relied on its membership for its physical needs. In 1925, the men worked weekends and evenings wiring the building for electricity and installing heating. The Women of the Church organization, founded in 1928, cooked dinners in Mrs. Paden’s log cabin across from the church and sold them to the men for 25 cents each, using the money to buy an oil stove.

During the Great Depression, the church youth entertained themselves with February hayrides to Town Creek for hot dogs and hot cocoa, and summer trips to Lake Waccamaw for swimming and a picnic. When they could scape together fare, the youth would take ferry rides across the river to visit Wilmington.

Woodburn Presbyterian has grown from those early days, but not without some trouble. The church steeple was blown off by Hurricane Diana in 1984. It was replaced the following year, only to be blown off again by Hurricane Bonnie in 1998.

Today the church stands proud and healthy, ready to help the community it has grown with over the past century. Woodburn very actively supports local missions such as Manna Ministry, PATH (two cent a meals), Cookies for Kairos, E.W. Life Jail Fellowship, Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Box Ministry, Children’s Hope Alliance, Hope Harbor House, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The church offers a Community Thanksgiving Service and Vacation Bible School as well as supporting an Angel Tree for Lincoln Elementary at Christmas.

Newly arrived pastor Reverend Scott Bunting said he hopes to continue that service to the community. “I will preach the Word of Reform Theology,” he said. “I hope to bring in people who are un-churched, and those who who are moving here from another area.”

Rev. Bunting is new to the area himself, having left a church in Wise, Virginia to join Woodburn. He brings experience in education and counseling to his new position and hopes to use both in service to the community. “I’m a teaching pastor. That’s my role,” he said.

Sunday Worship Services are at 11 am with Adult Sunday school at 9:30 am.

Bible Study is 9:30 am Wednesdays, and a Prayer Team meets Fridays at 10 am.

All are welcome to attend any church service, group session or class.

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