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Salem UMCs new service targets youth
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A local church is adding a service to its Sunday schedule to encourage younger potential members to join the congregation’s family.

Salem United Methodist Church will inaugurate a new Praise Worship Service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. The Bridge service will take place in the Family Life Center at the church, located at 3962 Salem Road in Covington, three and a half miles south of Interstate 20, directly after a 9 a.m. gathering for fellowship and refreshments.

Rev. Joe Peabody Jr., senior pastor, will lead the new service while also continuing to lead the traditional 11 a.m. service each week.

For months, Salem UMC’s Pastor and Worship Committee worked for a way to reach out to the community with a service that appeals to “those who prefer the more contemporary style of worship,” said Jimmy Breedlove, of Salem UMC, in an email.

“We are particularly hoping that these folks will come and see what we are offering,” Breedlove said.

He said on the phone that the ultimate goal is to reach the younger constituency and those who were previously unchurched “who have not yet found the opportunity to know Jesus Christ.” The church has been serving people since its organization in 1824, where the first building was a log structure built on a five-acre plot near the current Salem Camp Ground spring.

The past three Sundays were used as a soft launch for The Bridge service to “work out the kinks and get feedback from the Salem congregation,” Breedlove said.

The Bridge service is named so because “there are all kinds of bridges in the world that go anywhere and are needed everywhere. For those who have not found or do not know about God and Jesus, the ‘bridge’ at Salem could be the most important one they have or will ever cross over in their lives.”