CANA, Va. — Mount Bethel Moravian Church will celebrate its 160th anniversary Sunday with an Anniversary Lovefeast.
The church grew out of a ministry of Van N. Zevely, a Moravian from Salem (now Old Salem) who in 1833 began traveling to the Volunteer Gap area of Virginia to preach and teach the gospel. He did this for eight years, and others followed his footsteps.
In 1852, a building was erected by local people with financial help from Moravians in Salem. The building was to be the meeting place of the newly-formed Mount Bethel Moravian Church.
On Nov. 24, 1852, the building was consecrated, and on the following day, the 37 founding members of the congregation gathered for a service of Holy Communion with the Rt. Rev. John G. Herman, a Moravian bishop.
The lovefeast service will be held at 7 p.m. with Israel Easter as guest speaker, and special music will be presented.
To further celebrate, George Hamilton IV, a regular at the Grand Ole Opry, will present his service, “A Moravian Country Christmas,” Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the service.