LAUREL, Miss. (WJTV) – We are recognizing a local pastor who started a multi-ethnic church at a time when it was unheard of. Despite opposition, he pushed forward and started his dream church.
Bishop Charles Hanchey founded Christ’s Church of Laurel more than 20 years ago. He moved to Mississippi from Kentucky.
“I was raised up in the Jim Crow era and all the things that were going on at that time,” said Bishop Hanchey, “As a child I saw so much racial injustice, there was just something inside me that said it was wrong.”
When Bishop Hanchey started the multi-ethnic church, he faced a lot of opposition.
“There were people that told me that I was foolish and we should not be here,” said Hanchey, “We were pretty much rejected by a whole lot of people because that was a no no.”
Hanchey ignored the opposition and worked to build his dream church anyway.
“We just started the vision and loved people and we did not have a problem starting a multi-ethnic church,” said Hanchey, “We treated everyone the same and loved everyone.”
After successfully starting his church he set out to start a new dream which was to help people with drug addictions. Hanchey now has 5 rehabilitation programs that helps people facing additions.
Melissa Sanders is a former member of Hanchey’s rehab programs. She is now clean.
“I got to know his heart and how he loves giving back to people who are left in the ditches,” said Sanders.
Hanchey even goes as far as opening his own home to people in need. He gave Victoria Pitts a place to stay when her house burned down in 2016.
“The bishop and his wife let me move into his empty house and gave us a place to live,” said Pitts, “He even paid the electric bills so we could save up money to get our own place.”
Bishop Hanchey continues to do good in his community. He said he is just doing the work of God.
If you know someone who goes above and beyond for their community, send us an email to email@example.com and put “Hometown Heroes” on the subject line.