On Saturday, March 30, the first New Hope Easter Egg Hunt was held in Menifee County. Over 525 people gathered at Frenchburg Elementary School, where children of all ages sought out over 5500 brightly colored eggs. This was the first time an Easter Egg Hunt had ever been held for the entire county.
The egg hunt was part of a continuing effort to be in relationship with the residents of Menifee County, where the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church plans to start a new church in 2014. The first event sponsored by the United Methodist Church in this area was the New Hope Festival, which was held in August 2013. The people of Menifee County have been very receptive to the idea of a Methodist Church coming to their county. Rev. Aaron Mansfield, pastor at Morehead UMC in the Ashland District, said, " people's eyes lit up when I told them we would be starting a church."
Rev. Mansfield, along with Wes Holland and Rev. Scott Wilson worked the crowd, gathering information about people's church attendance and what each person would like in a church. The results of their informal survey indicated that the number one program the folks in Menifee County requested was something for kids, which was borne out by the more than 350 children who came out to the Easter Egg Hunt. The next most common request from the people interviewed was that they would like to see a church where anyone can feel welcome, with no worries about dress or money or status.
Rev. Mansfield noted that "we asked for people to empty the eggs and give them back so we can come back next year. There was a cheer and we got back almost every egg."
Mansfield hopes that a church in Menifee County can be launched with more than 200 people. The Easter Egg Hunt will go down as the first official event in the Menifee County new church start.