Homecoming FAQs

On Sunday, October 21 Middle Creek will be hosting its annual Homecoming celebration. Not quite sure what all the fuss is about? We’re here to answer your questions!

What is homecoming?

Homecoming is a traditional southern celebration during which we welcome back former members and pastors for fellowship, worship, music, a meal, and more. You can think of it as a “church family reunion”.

Why do we celebrate it? 

The homecoming celebration is meant to serve multiple purposes. First and foremost, we use this opportunity to reflect on the history and heritage of the church and to enjoy fellowship with those who no longer attend our church regularly.

Secondly, many churches take time during homecoming to honor those who have passed away since the last homecoming by reading names and lighting candles. In addition, some members may choose to visit the cemetery to visit and tend to loved ones’ graves.

Where did the tradition come from? 

There is no real record of where or when the first homecoming celebration took place, but these celebrations have been going on in the South since colonial times. Homecoming celebrations are especially popular in small towns and rural regions.

What happens during Homecoming at Middle Creek?

At Middle Creek, the Homecoming service might look a lot like a typical Sunday, however the focus is very different. We focus on remembering and celebrating our past as well as renewing our faith for future growth. During the service we light candles in memory of church members and loved ones who have passed away through the year. Following worship, we gather together for a covered dish meal and enjoy time in fellowship with one another.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered here? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer it for you!

We hope you’ll join us on Sunday, October 21 for Homecoming!

An Incredible Promise

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” - Matthew 28:20 (NIV)

What a promise, right? It’s reassuring, comforting, and may even give you a warm, fuzzy feeling to think that no matter where our lives take us, we will never be alone; That God will be right there, watching and keeping us. 

But we have a tendency to cherry pick the Bible, just like we did with this verse.

You see, there’s more to this passage than just a nice promise. Let’s back up to verse 16:

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” - Matthew 28:16-19 (NIV)

This is the other part of the story - the work required in exchange for that promise. Here we read about the disciples receiving the Great Commission from Jesus.

Imagine, for a moment, how important this promise was the the disciples. They were being asked to go out into a world that did not readily accept Christ, and share his gospel. They were facing torment, ridicule, and potentially even persecution. Although the disciples were dedicated to Jesus, they were still human and very well may have been worried or frightened at this prospect. 

This promise was more than just comforting words to them. It reassured them that whatever lay ahead of them, they would not face it alone, so long as they were carrying out the commission.

Jesus makes it clear that the commission and the promise are not separate things - that one comes with the other. 

This opportunity wasn’t exclusive to the disciples. That same promise is available for you and I, but the job is for you and I too. We are called to “go” and “make” and “baptize” and “teach” - to take action for Christ. And when we take on that journey, God goes with us every step of the way. 

Recovery Trail

Transitional Sober Living for Sevier County

If you’ve turned on the news or checked social media lately, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the ever-growing drug and alcohol crisis plaguing east Tennessee. You’ve heard the statistics and maybe even wondered what more can be done to help those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol in our area. Toby Wagner, a member of Middle Creek’s congregation, has a plan to do just that.

By the grace of God and his recovery family, Toby has been sober since February 26, 2010. Since that time, he has become deeply involved in helping others on their own journey to recovery. He has shared his own experience and a message of hope in the Sevier County Jail every Wednesday night, served on the Great Smoky Mountain Recovery Campout committee, and assisted with various 12-step meetings in the area. 

In 2017, Toby felt drawn to do more. He realized that more help was needed for individuals who desperately want a new way of life but have toxic home environments that feed the cycle of relapse. He then began the process of forming a non-profit organization that would serve these individuals, and in May 2108, Recovery Trail was born.

Recovery Trail is a non-profit organization on a mission to provide a safe living environment for those who want to recover from drug and alcohol addiction and return as productive members of our community. The program will teach accountability, self-reliance, and a spiritual connection that will build self-esteem and self-worth.

Recovery Trail is not affiliated with any religious denomination. Instead, the group seeks to model a godly life of love and service to others. 

The Recovery Trail program will offer services like:

  • Recovery-Based Structured Residences
  • Supportive, Peer-Driven, Spiritual Community
  • Random Drug Testing
  • Required 12-Step Meeting Participation
  • Case Management
  • Employment and Educational Assistance
  • Community Involvement
  • and More!

Toby has taken the first steps toward making this dream a reality, but he needs our help to cross the finish line. Find out how you can support Recovery Trail and improve conditions for those suffering from addiction in our community. Click here to donate or visit recoverytrail.org to learn more.

For more information, please contact:
Toby Wagner, Executive Director
(865) 654-3884