But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
— The Acts Of The Apostles, Chapter 1, Verse 8
LOCKHART — It’s been closed for nearly a decade, but Hope Hospital could soon have a new name and a new mission that continues its old one of serving the Lockhart community while expanding that service to surrounding communities.
Jubilee Fellowship Ministries plans to lease the hospital from the Town of Lockhart and renovate to it serve, initially, as a missions center to provide lodging for mission groups that come in to work with area churches. One of the group’s founders is Spencer Ledford who said the members of Jubilee Fellowship Ministries see renovating the hospital to serve mission groups visiting and working in the area as a way of ministering in Union County.
“We have a group of individuals looking at becoming more involved with the ministry as seen in the Bible,” Lefford said. “In Acts Chapter 1, Verse 8, the scripture tells us missions are in four areas of the world. You have it in Jerusalem which for us our Jerusalem is Union County. Judea is South Carolina, Samaria is the United States, and the ends of the earth is the rest of the world.
“This ministry is in Jerusalem which is Union County and we’re looking at trying to enhance the lives of the people of Union County,” he said. “The location in Union County will be known as ‘Jacob’s Well.’ It is first going to be a missions center. At this location we’re going to develop the rooms that were at one point hospital rooms into living quarters. The rooms will be occupied by people who are coming into this area to do missions. A mission team may come to the area to help a church but the church may not be able to house all the people coming. This is where the missions center will be able to help.”
In addition to rooms, Ledford said the building will be outfitted with a kitchen, a dining hall, shower facilities, and storage areas.
“Everything a mission team will need,” Ledford said. “It is our hope that teams that are coming to this area will use Jacob’s Well as a haven of rest.”
Ledford pointed out that the building, which is located on Hope Drive in Lockhart, is within 30-45 minutes of Union, Chester, Rock Hill, Spartanburg, and York.
“These are the areas we’re hoping to influence,” Ledford said. “The mission center is just the first step of what we pray will be many ministries. With God’s direction and His strength we can do all things through Christ.”
In addition to a missions center, Ledford and fellow Jubilee Fellowship member Mitchell Sinclair said their group hopes to eventually add a food pantry, a soup kitchen, and clothes ministry.
“Most importantly, we want to serve God, we want to be servants of God,” Sinclair said. “All those other things are what we do to serve God.”
According to Leford, Jubilee Fellowship Ministries was formed shortly before the end of 2011 with the goal, as stated in its mission statement, of being “a service-oriented ministry that has a three-pronged approach to its ministry application.” Each prong begins with the letter “S” including:
• Share: We will be sharing our lives together as we seek to follow Jesus. We will also be sharing Jesus’ message with everyone we have the opportunity to do so.
• Shape: We will be improving our shape as we study God’s word together in a small group Bible study.
• Send: We will be sending ourselves into the mission field as described in Acts 1:8. Our mission field includes local, state, national and international locations.
Jubilee Fellowship Ministries will hold a prayer service at Hope Hospital at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Ledford invited the people of Lockhart and anyone else interested in helping the group seek God’s guidance to attend the service.
“We’re just going to pray over it and seek God’s direction,” Ledford said.
Hope Hospital closed shortly after the beginning of the century after decades of serving as the community hospital and doctor’s offices. It was owned by Milliken & Company and was originally established to serve the medical needs of the employees of Lockhart Mill and their families which made up practically the entire population of Lockhart. After it was closed, the hospital was given to the Town of Lockhart by Milliken & Co. and since then the town has sought a new tenant and/or buyer for the facility without success.
Sinclair presented the Jubilee Fellowship’s proposal to Lochhart Town Council in December and the council approved leasing the building to the ministry. Mayor Ailene Ashe said Monday the town is the process of developing a lease agreement and she is looking forward to Hope Hospital once again serving the community.
“We think this will be an opportunity for something to help Lockhart start growing more,” Ashe said. “We hate to see a good building abandoned instead of going to a good purpose. We are very excited about it and looking to a wonderful future.”
For more information about Jubilee Fellowship Ministries call Spencer Ledford at 864-907-4857 or Mitch Sinclair at 864-426-5914 or Jubilee Fellowship Ministries, PO Box 545, Union, SC, 29379.