"Where the Kingdom of God Is Breaking Through."
The story of Green Street United Methodist Church is rooted in shalom, a Hebrew word meaning peace. It began with a tent revival outside Old Salem, a Germanic variation of shalom, in August of 1902. Attendance reached its peak in the 1950s with over 600 members, but began to decline the 1960s as the West Salem neighborhood became racially diverse and many charter residents moved away from the city.
But then a small group called “the remnant” re-visioned the church, opening its doors wide to embrace the community around them. Today, Green Street Church is alive and thriving! The congregation reflects the make up of the West Salem community -- white, African American, and Hispanic; affluent, LGBTQ, middle class, and poor -- and also includes many from other neighborhoods who seek a diverse congregation.
Church Programs and Ministries
Green Street Church is a Reconciling Congregation, open and affirming of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered and Straight people. While the United Methodist denomination continues to wrestle with issues around sexual identity, Green Street seeks to be a witness to the wider church community by living out the motto of “open minds, open hearts and open doors.”
The Green Street Church Anti-Racism (AR) Team was called together for the goal of dismantling racism within our institution. Commissioned by the Institute for Dismantling Racism (IDR), the AR team evaluates and educates our faith community through the lens of systemic racism.
A service of worship in Spanish is held in the Green Street Church Chapel each Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. In addition, Spanish-speaking members have regular gatherings for a "Companions in Christ" group, computer classes, and seasonal celebrations with music and food.
Our regular worship services are child-friendly! We provide activity packets and books for younger children to use in the pews. Children’s sermons relate the weekly worship themes. For children younger four and younger a Nursery is provided each Sunday, with activities, music, a story, and songs.
Our youth program is open to young people in grades 6th-12th and focuses on developing faith through fellow-ship and service. Our programming includes Sunday Night Youth Fellow-ship, Sunday School, Fall and Spring Retreats, service projects, and fun outings.
The Green Street Choir is made up of churchgoers aged 16 and older who enjoy praising God in song. The choir is a "part-time" organization, generally practicing two, sometimes three Wednesday evenings each month from 6:45 to 8:30 in the church sanctuary, and generally performs two Sundays per month.
Small Group study ministries meet weekly. We have focused on a variety of topics from health and wellness to book discussions and spiritual formation. Participants are encouraged to join us at any point during our studies. The open format allows for personal reflection and encourages discussion and fellowship.
The Shalom Project, born out of the outreach ministries of Green Street Church, is a 501c3 non profit, community organization with a mission to build a strong and healthy community by meeting the needs of people. Programs of The Shalom Project include an after school Kids Cafe, a free health clinic, The Welcome Table, the Community Knowledge Center, a clothing closet & food pantry, and the Peter's Creek Community Initiative. Contact Executive Director, Anne Rudert (Send an email, Phone: 336-721-0606).
IDR (The Institute for Dismantling Racism) builds teams to dismantle internalized racism and systemic racist structures--with a common definition of racism: Race prejudice + the misuse of power by systems and institutions = Racism. Through internal organizing and training workshops, IDR develops community trust across lines of difference to help transform institutions from the inside out. For more information about IDR, contact Rev. Willard W. Bass, Jr (Send an email, Phone: 336-722-8379, ext.105).
CHANGE (Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment) is an interfaith, multiracial organization that trains leaders to take action in the public arena. CHANGE collaborates with over 50 congregations and community organizations in the Winston-Salem area. Over the past 10 years, CHANGE has helped people of faith bring about justice, working with public education, community health, economic development and increasing voter turn out. Contact Ryan Eller (Send an email, Phone: 336-721-1660).Please contact the church office if you would like to be connected with an anonymous support group.
The Green House - Future Plans
Green Street Church offers the spiritual equivalent of a green house. Whether it is a child that needs a safe and nurturing place to be after school, a person who needs clothing and/or food, a West Salem neighbor who yearns for fellowship while enjoying a community meal, someone looking for a place to volunteer, a person seeking support during recovery, someone who needs the services of the health clinic, or someone seeking a spiritual connection, Green Street is there, opening the doors wide. The new plan includes a total renovation and expansion of the current, two-story Main Entrance building and Prayer Garden that connects the Education Building to the Sanctuary. This new welcome and gathering center will be called “The Green House.” Concept plans have been developed, and the cost for the renovation will be in the range of $500,000.
Why we need a capital campaign. Green Street seeks to serve the community to the best of its ability in buildings that were not originally intended for their current use. Because some of the spaces are inefficient and there are numerous deferred maintenance issues, Green Street began work on a concept plan for improving our historic building. As the concept plan took shape, a few key issues became apparent: There is a need for improved traffic flow and flexible gathering space for the large groups that descend on the church property during meal times, clothing days, and medical clinic days. There is a need for vertical accessibility to all church levels (handicap accessibility, restrooms, ramps, elevator, etc.) to be able to server that segment of our population who have mobility issues.
Showered with God's blessings. Green Street Church has been blessed with an active, loving and generous congregation. This capital campaign represents a significant undertaking for our congregation. Because much of this new Green House space will be used for “non-church” purposes the majority of the time, we are seeking contributions from members within the church as well as individual, foundation, church, and corporate donors outside the church.
Pledge what you can. While the campaign objectives are stated in terms of building renovation and expansion, it is important to remember that the true and ultimate purpose of this campaign is to ensure the preservation, growth and vitality of Green Street Church in order that its members can continue God’s work for many generations to come.