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NC bishop to lead area-wide worship service

Posted on December 28, 2021

Local newsWAW

Fairley

Fairley

ROCKY MOUNT — The Rev. Lenoard Fairley, resident bishop of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, will serve as guest preacher for an area-wide worship service at N.C. Wesleyan College’s Dunn Center next month.

A joint celebration by United Methodist congregations in and near Rocky Mount and N.C. Wesleyan College, the service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23.

Fairley, described as a pastor, poet and a man of deep, quiet faith, began his time as North Carolina’s resident bishop in September. He often shares his story of being born into poverty and being from “the wrong side of town.”

“There were times when I didn’t have food,” he recalled. “There were tables that I knew I was not invited to. But there was always room at God’s table. I always knew that at this table, there was always enough, that I was always welcome.”

Fairley served the North Carolina Conference beginning in 1984, and his last appointment in North Carolina was serving as district superintendent of the Capital District before delegates of the United Methodist Church’s Southeastern Jurisdiction named him bishop of the denomination’s Kentucky Conference in 2016.

A Pfeiffer College and Duke University School of Divinity graduate, Fairley served at St. Peter’s UMC in Hamlet and Soapstone in Raleigh before becoming the Rockingham district superintendent. After seven years as district superintendent, he returned to congregational service in 2012 as lead pastor of St. Francis UMC in Cary.

He also served as superintendent of the Capitol District, the N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church’s largest district.

Fairley and his wife, Dawn, currently split their time between Kentucky and North Carolina.

A time of fellowship with light refreshments is planned following the Jan. 23 service. Everyone is invited to attend.

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