Huntington’s faith community celebrates America’s Best Community

Praise and worship songs, prayer and celebration could be heard from Huntington’s City Hall Sunday night while members of Huntington’s faith community gathered to celebrate Huntington winning the America’s Best Communities contest in April.

The celebration was held in the auditorium of city hall Sunday night and included Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, several local pastors and other members of the faith community.

“The purpose of tonight is to lay a foundation, to help you understand the glorious things that are occurring in this town,” Williams said. “For us to be able to repeat these stories to our children and to our neighbors who come after us because there is an anointing in this city, there is an anointing that is occurring here and it has been occurring here for some time.”

Williams delivered a speech during the celebration and said that unity is the reason that Huntington was able to win the title of America’s Best Community.

“The reason Huntington has been named America’s Best Community is because we have people from all walks of life standing side by side together,” Williams said. “The value and strength of this community does come together.”

Sean Morris, the Pastor of Grow COC Church in Melbourne, Australia, also delivered remarks during the celebration and said that the past trials of the Huntington community have allowed for a new dawn to arrive for the city.

“It’s as if God set the stage for the story of restoration, transformation and recovery of this place,” Morris said. “Huntington is on God’s map. And because of your hearts, because of your prayers God has a dream for Huntington, West Virginia.”

Huntington received $3 million from the organizers of the America’s Best Communities contest to go toward the restoration of the community. During the celebration, there were four specific initiatives that were discussed and dedicated. Each of the four initiatives were prayed for and dedicated by pastors from four local churches.

The first of the initiatives was the Highlawn initiative, where the plan is to convert old manufacturing land into a developed area where industry can move in.

The next initiative is the West End initiative, where an abandoned clothing factory is being converted to a center where individuals can be trained to install solar panels and to sustain agriculture.

Third is the gigabit city initiative, where community leaders want to install high-speed broadband internet in Huntington, would provide internet speeds that go far beyond the standard required by the FCC to be considered high speed internet.

And the final initiative that was touted concerned city leaders’ hope to revitalize the area of Fairfield that sits along Hal Greer Boulevard near Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Adam Stephens can be contacted at [email protected]