LDS Church organizes Young Single Adult Branch
MADISON COUNTY – Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have founded a new congregation specifically for young adults in the Tennessee Valley.
“After months of prayer, planning and discussion with church leaders, an historic event took place at a local meetinghouse for LDS members on Jan. 15. On this historic day, over 150 young singles, ages 18-30, gathered at the very first meeting of the Huntsville Young Single Adult Branch,” media specialist Wendy Reynolds said.
“Young people as far away as Cullman, Guntersville, Scottsboro and Decatur felt the excitement as they assembled in the chapel. Young Adult congregations similar to this one exist in larger cities and on university campuses across the United States, but this marks a first for North Alabama,” Reynolds said.
Singles who work and live in the area can meet, lead, serve and worship together in weekly church services. Several Madison young adults carpooled and were thrilled upon seeing 100 new future friends, she said.
Samantha Miller, 23, from Huntsville said she was very happy to finally get to meet people her own age. “It was amazing! It was a great turnout, and everyone was excited to be there. I know it will be a huge success.”
Samantha then met Josh Rea, 22, from Athens. Josh returned last year from a two-year service and proselyting mission to London, England. He attends Calhoun Community College and was pleased to meet so many new people who shared the same beliefs.
“This young adult branch has been a long time coming. The overwhelming attendance proved that to be true. That’s what church is for — to feel closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. We now have each other, we have the same standards, and we can relate to one another,” Rea said.
At that first meeting, President Kuenn Drake of the Madison, Alabama Stake welcomed the audience and announced individuals in the new branch’s presidency, a body of lay ecclesiastical leaders. John Nolan of Huntsville will serve as branch president with Larry Cheesman from Huntsville and Frank Rodarte from Madison as his counselors.
President Nolan encouraged all new branch members to serve one another and lift each other up as the Savior would do. “Service will be our focus,” he said.
The Huntsville Young Single Adult Branch meets every Sunday at 12:45 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse at 1804 Sparkman Drive in Huntsville.