Mt. Juliet Proud to be Community of Faith
Congregations range from large to small at churches in Mt. Juliet and West Wilson County, with Victory Baptist Church easily being the largest. It recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and today has more than 2,000 families.
“A lot of churches first rent school buildings when starting out until they become large enough to construct their own facility, and that was the case with Victory Baptist,” says Mark Hinesley, president of the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. “Victory spent their first 4 1/2 years in classrooms at Mt. Juliet High School, and for the past 5 1/2 years has been in its own 60,000-square-foot building that stands on a prominent hill in Mt. Juliet.”
Another large church is St. Stephen Catholic Church, with nearly 1,500 families. Meanwhile, medium-sized congregations can be found at Cook’s United Methodist, Joy Church International and Life Assembly, and examples of smaller churches include Church Alive and Providence United Methodist.
Forty to Choose From
Hinesley says a key reason why the quality of life is so dynamic in Mt. Juliet and West Wilson County is that religion is important for many of the 30,000 residents, and there are about 40 different churches to choose from.
“If you are a newcomer to this community, there is a church for you,” he says. “We don’t have a synagogue and there is no Islamic center, but there is certainly everything else. There are even non-denominational churches such as Cedar Ridge. And a nice feature is that denominations such as Baptists, Catholics and Methodists often join together to support common causes.”
There's Room in the Inn
One such cause is a Room In The Inn program, which provides free meals and a place to sleep for homeless individuals every Tuesday night during cold-weather months. Grace United Methodist Church and St. Stephen Catholic Church participate in this particular program.
“We switch off weekly with Grace United Methodist to host the homeless from the first Tuesday in November through the last Tuesday in March,” says Barb Couterier, office director at St. Stephen. “The homeless are screened at Nashville’s Room In The Inn shelter, then sent out to our churches every Tuesday for a warm dinner and safe place to stay overnight.”
Helping the Help Center
Hinesley points out that a Ministers Association has also formed in Mt. Juliet that brings together many church leaders who meet regularly and talk about religious issues. In addition, several local churches are also supporters of the Mt. Juliet Help Center, which offers free food and other emergency resources for families in need.
“Even the chamber gets involved in a small way, specifically by hosting an annual Prayer Breakfast on the first Thursday in May that coincides with the National Day of Prayer,” he says. “We’ve been hosting the event for 20 years and it’s open to the public to participate in breakfast and fellowship. Yes, there is plenty of religion to go around in our community, with faith and worship being the message at all 40 churches.”