Mercy Station Matthew
Meal, Music, Message
Lexington Church of God
Every Monday Night at 6 pm
A Brief History of Open Hands
The roots of Open Hands run to early 2012 a group of members from Bethany United
Methodist Church completed a 32-
With our hearts turned toward our friends, we prayed about a way to have a weekly
meal and worship experience together. After much prayer and a season of seeking God’s
will, we asked Wesley Heights UMC to partner with us and serve as the host site for
Open Hands –the name we gave to the weekly meal, music, and message event. They opened
their doors to us. We met for the first time on March 11, 2013 with 14 people in
attendance (plus invited guests). From the very beginning, the hallmarks of Open
Hands have included: everyone is welcome; everyone matters; the world needs more
grace and less judgment. We practice these beliefs in our worship, our decision-
The Alive Praise Band of First United Methodist Church in Lexington joined us in the early weeks of Open Hands. They quickly became our house band, and have helped lead worship ever since.
Their service is always uplifting and much appreciated. Friends from churches such as Central UMC in Denton, First UMC in Denton, Canaan UMC, the former St Timothy UMC, and others contributed to the ministry in various ways during those first months. As we met weekly attendance crept up, going over 100 for the first time when we hosted a Back to School celebration in August 2013. Knowing that we would soon exceed the capacity of the Fellowship Hall at Wesley Heights, we prayed and sought God’s direction about a new place to worship.
God led us to the Lexington Church of God, our current site for the Monday night
meal, music, and message. The people of the church graciously joined our effort and
we became partners in ministry. The love of God tied us together in mission. We began
meeting at LCOG in October of 2013. As we have met there we have seen attendance
steadily grow on Monday nights, reaching 255 for our Christmas 2014 celebration.
Currently we host an average of 180 people each Monday. Along with growth in attendance,
we have also grown in the number of individuals and churches that have become part
of the ministry team. These include: Trinity UMC; Macedonia UMC; God’s Banqueting
Table; First Lutheran Church, Mt Carmel UMC, Lexington Church of God, Mount Tabor
UCC, Cotton Grove UMC, Wesley Heights UMC, Harvest Worship Center, Bethany UMC, M-
Open Hands also includes a clothing ministry, featuring Big MACC (Mobile Accessory
and Clothing Closet). Big MACC is a 24’ enclosed trailer fitted to be a self-
We also have an emergency Food Pantry that provides food to some of our community and also a free diaper service through the Piedmont Diaper Bank that will give 10 days to 2 weeks worth of diapers a month to those with small children.
During the coldest nights of February 2015 we opened our office up as a site for
an All Night Prayer Service and in conjunction with the Harvest Worship Center hosted
those who were living on the streets and needed a safe and warm place to spend the
night. This ministry will expand during the winter of 2015-
In December 2013 a Board of Directors was formed to advise this growing ministry.
We hired Bob Harmon to be our Open Hands Director, overseer of daily operations.
On January 27, 2014 we unofficially opened Mercy Station Matthew at 506-
As you can see, so much has happened in this short amount of time. As we celebrate our young age we also appreciate the opportunity that is before us. God’s grace is laced through and among the lives of all the people of Davidson County. God desires an end to cycles of brokenness and despair that have haunted so many for so long. We believe that God is calling Open Hands to be a big part of the word of grace that he speaks to his beloved people. With that in mind we will continue to seek ways to expand opportunities for employment, increase the presence of Mercy Stations and worship sites, pray for new ways to help those in need, and give glory and honor to God in all that we do.
Not one bit of this would be possible without the committed volunteers who give many hours to make Open Hands happen. Some assist with food service; some clean; some drive vans; some play in the band; some greet; some work in the clothing ministry; all are amazing in their love of Christ and neighbor. Beyond hearing the gospel call of sacrifice and servanthood, they are living it out through Open Hands of Davidson County. I salute all of our wonderful volunteers. It is an honor and a privilege to serve Christ alongside each of you.