In 2011, we (Dustin and Hannah Wilson) moved to the Salisbury area. From the beginning, we felt God wanted us to focus our efforts on East Spencer, NC. The further we followed Jesus on this journey; we discovered that he wanted us to make our roots grow deep in this community. We purchased a house in East Spencer and began demonstrating love to our neighbors.  The deeper we planted our roots here, the more we sensed a long-term calling and a need to remain embedded in this community.

Our goal with Freedom Roots is to plant hope through Jesus Christ in the community of East Spencer.

The Wilson Family

The Wilson Family

East Spencer is an historic black community in Rowan County that has a lot of heritage, great stories and very caring people. This community, and the people of this community, is where God has called us to parish. We have grown to love East Spencer very deeply. If you spend anytime in East Spencer, you can see a lot of brokenness: things like abandoned homes, drugs, poverty, prostitution, just to name a few. Living in this community for two years now, we have grown to feel the brokenness and pain in the area, but in that suffering, we have seen Jesus at work bringing hope to us, and others in the community.

Going back to the roots of the North Carolina Wesleyan movement, we can see a church called Freedom’s Hill that wasn’t afraid to move into the area and suffer with the folks in the South. This little church embraced Freedom for all people and was willing to stand in the gap. In the same wind, we truly feel God has called us to embrace Freedom here in East Spencer and to continue to plant hope in the community. Jeremiah 29:4-7 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

We believe that God has called us to settle down in East Spencer and to let our roots grow deep in the community. We are to seek the peace and prosperity of the community because if it prospers, we will prosper as well.<h/4>