Boy Scout Troop 357 has a new home at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.
The move came after the troop was told Nov. 19 in a 2-sentence letter that they would no longer have a home with the Pembroke United Methodist Church.
"Because we are presently without a minister, the Administrative Council has voted to not allow any Scouting activity in our facility as of Dec. 1, 2008. We apologize for the inconvenience," read the letter from Administrative Council Chairman Gene Sanders.
Sanders said Wednesday that the unanimous council decision was based on nothing that the Troop did wrong, but instead was due to a combination of not having a minister to oversee the activities and conflicting schedules between the church and the three scout divisions.
"Our church has sponsored scouting for 11 years. It started with just the Boy Scout troop, but evolved into the cub and girl scouts too. It had reached a point where the church was having to schedule its activities around the scouts and the schedules were conflicting," Sanders said.
Troop Master Dave Williams said Sanders' letter worried him at first.
"I was distraught and unable to sleep when I received the letter because I was worried about what would happen to our boys," he said. "The deadline given by the [Methodist] church was the day the paperwork for the Scouting Charter was due for the following year and without a charter organization the Troop is not recognized."
"We have some boys who are very close to achieving their Eagle Scout status, and without a recognized charter, it would mess them up. Our boys are committed, and I would hate to see anything happen to them," he said.
Williams, a deacon at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church emailed his pastor seeking guidance and prayers, and received his answer immediately in a phone call from Mt. Moriah’s Reverend Doctor Francys Johnson.
"Our church will be more than happy to sponsor and charter the Troop. We would be delighted to have the Troop here, and that offer extends to the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts as well," Johnson said.
Williams said Troop 357’s new home has plenty of room inside and out for scouting functions and plenty of room for new growth.
"We’ve always been a part of this community. We are looking forward to moving ahead and doing much better, and I have no doubt that we are going to get a lot bigger," Williams said.