ROCKTON — The Home Camp United Methodist Church, located at 2723 Home Camp Road, Rockton, was founded on March 3, 1892, with the cornerstone for the church being laid on Nov. 2, 1894. The church has approximately 80 to 90 members, with an average of 35 to 40 attending the weekly worship services.
Pastor Kendra Balliet said the congregation of the rural community church — often recognized as being the one “out by the reservoir” — is well known for its involvement in Jamaican mission trips and “the place that has the big cantatas at Christmas and Easter times.”
“They are just good-hearted people,” said Balliet. “If they know of a need, they’re right there. They’re willing to get their hands dirty in the missions, and they find a way to provide.”
Members participate in the mission trips one or two times a year, with the initial group leaving earlier this month to prepare for the larger mission trip in September.
“They’re going to be building roofs on some homes in September, but they’re making sure they have all the materials and everything lined up,” said Balliet.
The personality of the Home Camp congregation is that they are not inwardly focused, they are outwardly focused, she said.
“At one point, the people here at this church even started a Christmas dinner that the Lutheran Church has adopted and hosts it in town (DuBois),” said Balliet.
Members help at the local food pantry and participate there as a charge, consisting of Home Camp, Luthersburg and Salem United Methodist churches.
Also at Home Camp, they are collecting new children’s underwear and socks for elementary school-aged children.
“One of the things that I’ve discovered over the past several years ... this is new for this church ... are that the local school nurses end up supplying a huge amount of underwear and socks for children who do not have underwear and socks,” said Balliet. “Where I had been before, they supplied them for the elementary school because the elementary school nurse was out of them within six months. Here they told me that the school nurse is out by October. It’s a huge need and most people don’t think of those things. If you don’t have or don’t have money for certain things, that is a big one. So we’re going to distribute some socks and underwear to the elementary schools here in the district.”
Balliet said The United Methodist Church is about being connected with other churches.
“We are interwoven with each other. We work with each other on different ministries,” said Balliet. “So for instance, we are working on ministry for 9/11 right now, we’re doing a Patriots Day service. It’s been happening in DuBois for the past three years where they do a blessing of the first responders’ vehicles, and then we’ll have a special service.”
Also in September, area churches will be participating in See You at the Pole, a traditional service being done throughout the United States, said Balliet.
“It’s for prayer for the school children in our nation,” said Balliet. “And last year there was one girl who came to the high school, at the flagpole, and this is before school starts for prayer, and she was the only one. There was some kids that made fun of her, and so forth, and kind of jeered her. So there was tears. And so the different pastors in the area said, ‘No, not again.’ And so this year we’re bringing in Dave DeMarco, who is a Christian artist, an evangelist. His entire band is coming, and he’s going to do a service at Lakeside United Methodist Church.”
This will be for youths and families and anyone who wants to support youths, she said.