Maple Springs Life

Welcome to the Maple Springs Life blog!  We hope you will come here often to learn more about what is happening at Maple Springs.  Staff Members, lay leaders and members of our congregation will share about missions, events, and ministries.  You will meet members of our staff and find out how you and your family can find a faith family and grow closer to God.

If you have an idea for a blog post, send an email to Catherine Davis at

Where did the name "Maple Springs" come from?    What is the History of our Church?

by Sandra Kupsky - Church Historian

When people gathered to worship outside at the farm of Henry Livengood in 1848, there were two babbling springs on the property between the rocks and under the roots of a large maple tree.  This water furnished an ample supply for all church occasions that included camp meetings and they were a place of respite.  Thus, the founding of Maple Springs United Methodist Church.  Our church name reminds us that Jesus is truly the living water for all who follow him. 


You can still see the springs – there is path at the southwest corner of the parking lot, near Craven Hall.  There is an outdoor worship area with benches, a podium and a cross beside the springs.


Maple Springs first land title was a five acre property dated May 7, 1850.  The first structure on the property was a modest log structure, built very close to the current church location.  A new frame church was built in 1892, a few feet from the log church.  Members of the building committee performed much of the carpentry on the building.  


As the church grew and needs of the congregation changed, it was decided to move the existing church building to a new location on the property in 1927.  Many upgrades were made to the building and a basement was added. The decorative glass windows from that building are in the current sanctuary lobby.  The cornerstone was laid October 16, 1927.  A list with 114 members was placed in the cornerstone.


By 1948, there were 239 members and additional space for meetings and education were needed.  An education building was constructed – having 18 classrooms, a kitchen and 8 auxiliary rooms.  This building is still in use today for Sunday School, the traditional music choir, a library and staff offices.  


By 1954, the church’s continued growth created the need for a new sanctuary.  Ground breaking was September 18, 1955 and the cornerstone was laid September 16, 1956.  The new building had a large sanctuary, Pastor’s study, Parlor, large fellowship hall and kitchen, the church office and additional classrooms.  All of these facilities are still in use today.


In the early 1990s, the church determined that it needed new facilities to attract young families.   After much dedicated work by the building committee and a commitment to financing the project by the church, Craven Hall was completed in 1996. This facility serves as a contemporary worship space and a recreation space and includes a stage, a basketball court and professional kitchen.  The Cokesbury room is used for many church functions and meetings and on Sundays is home to our Chinese congregation. 


Another important part of the Craven Hall project was to add classroom space.  On the first floor, the Maple Springs Preschool operates during the week and on Sundays there are Sunday School classes and Nursery care.  There are beautiful classrooms and two playgrounds.  The second-floor houses Sunday School classes, a space for our Youth Group and several offices. 


Upgrades were made to the sanctuary and Craven Hall in 2012.  New flooring was installed, the paint refreshed, better lighting was added, the sanctuary pulpit and altar area were redesigned and a new organ and grand piano were purchased.  The sound systems were also enhanced.    


In 2022, the Craven Lobby was upgraded with a fresh new look.  The Craven Lobby is the heart of the church during the week and is where you will find a wonderful group of volunteers that greet guests and answer the phones.   


Maple Springs is blessed to have wonderful facilities that have a long history (since 1850!) of being a platform for our ministries.  Maple Springs Life is alive and well in our mission to become Rooted in Christ, Grow in Christ and Bear Fruit for Christ.  

Meet Carlyn Bell

MInister to Youth

As the Minister to Youth at Maple Springs, I get to invest in our teeangers and facilitate faith formation opportunities and a ton of fun activities for them. Alongside our volunteers and youth council, I lead multiple weekly gatherings for students to be learning and growing on their level, facilitate leadership roles for our youth and plan and participate in special events, retreats and mission trips. Leading our youth and their families is such a privilege, and a role I’m thankful to be entrusted with.

I’ve been at Maple Springs UMC for one full year now, and what an awesome year it has been! I’ve loved getting to know not only our youth and families, but all of our church members. It feels great to be settled in and part of the Maple Springs family as I continue in ministry here.

A little bit about me, I was born in Nashville, TN but primarily grew up in Safety Harbor, FL. I love to hike, and try out new trails and parks (part of the reason I love North Carolina after spending much of my life in Florida). Still being new to Winston-Salem, I love trying new coffee shops and restaurants, and am always up for a good book recommendation!  I adopted a “Covid puppy” in 2020, and Luna is still the most entertaining part of my days. She’s a big fan of chasing her tail and the Maple Springs Pumpkin Patch. 

One of my favorite aspects of being a youth minister is being part of the youth's confirmation process. This year we have nine confirmands, and each week we learn, ask questions and practice studying scripture in new ways. This group continually asks big questions, seeking to understand more about Jesus. Nothing brings me more joy than when our youth think deeply about their own faith, and how what the Bible says impacts their daily lives. 

On our two most recent retreats, “Sing Wherever I Go,” has been a theme song and an idea our youth are embracing - that we can sing, speak, and act in a way that glorifies Jesus wherever we go. I invite you to “sing” with us, and pray for a continued bold faith for our youth.

“I got joy, joy, joy

Deep in my soul

I will sing, sing, sing

Wherever I go”

What makes our Food Pantry so special?

Bill Blackburn - Food Pantry Leader

The Maple Springs UMC Food Pantry has been open for over 20 years and continues to provide food to our neighbors in need.  So, what makes this pantry so special?  In my opinion, there are three things we do well.  We are a client choice pantry, we have great volunteers, and our church congregation supports us when the need is there.


A client choice pantry is one that allows the family needing the food to select the items they need and want versus being handed bags of pre-selected food.  When one of our neighbors enters our pantry, they are greeted with shelves holding cans of fruit or vegetables, canned meat, pasta, desserts, crackers, soup, and much more.  They can choose what they like and even sometimes the brand they prefer.  Imagine for a moment how you would feel if you went to the grocery store to get your food for the week and you were given 4 bags of food without being able to select what is in the bags.  Your first action when leaving the store would be to look in the bag to see what is in there and then taking out what you don’t want.  While pre-bagging the food allows a pantry to serve more folks in a certain amount of time, there is the potential of much wasted food.  If you give me a can of chickpeas and I don’t eat them, what happens to that can of food?  By choosing to be a client choice pantry, we provide our neighbors the opportunity to choose those items they need or want and, in the process, they are able to maintain some dignity.


Our amazing volunteers…what can I say!  There have been many volunteers over the years that have touched our pantry and each one of them has left their mark on what we do today.  Whether a person has volunteered once per month or numerous times each month, they have done so primarily to help others.  What is really cool is that it’s not just 4-5 people doing it week after week but over 50 different volunteers have assisted the pantry in some manner over the last year.  Each volunteer has been important in their own way but there are a few that have been extra special over the years.  Walt Moore has been helping to unload the trucks every month if not every week for at least 10 years.  Stephanie Norman works on the computer every Tuesday afternoon and since she has done it for so long, she is our “unofficial trainer” for all new persons wanting to learn the computer software.  Peter Venable has been helping us for years in many different capacities and today helps take the cardboard out to the van every Tuesday morning.  Mike Young is in a race with Stephanie Norman to see who has logged the most volunteer hours over the years and today he helps to restock our shelves each week.  And of course, SueEllen Thomas has been involved for years and today works at the counter on Wednesdays, sends out reminder emails, and chairs our Food Pantry Committee.    If the space allowed, I could mention so many more wonderful volunteers but it’s important that each of them knows the impact they have on our neighbors when they visit.  Our neighbors constantly speak of how welcome they feel here and how kind we are in their time of need.


And last of all, our church congregation.  When we need soup and crackers, we ask, and you deliver.  When we have a condiment food drive, the condiments come in by the hundreds.  When we needed to purchase a new van a couple of years ago, the financial donations allowed us to make the purchase.  We’ve asked for food bags, we’ve had Sunday School class contests, we’ve asked for volunteer help, and it seems that no matter what we ask for, our church and the community are always there to help.  When one of our neighbors needs food, what you do to support the pantry ultimately helps to feed our neighbors.  


In closing, there are dozens of food pantries in Forsyth County and each one of them is special in their own way.  I believe ours is extra special though because of who we are.  We care about our neighbors, we show respect for them when they visit, and we love each other while we are serving.  In the end, our neighbors in need will visit us one time to get food but they will visit us multiple times if we show we care.  Thanks to everyone for all you do to make our pantry so special.  May God bless each person reading this!

Maple Springs Mission: Serving the Burn Unit Staff

by Lynn Bailey

What does this Ministry mean to me….

When my sister Dee and I were approached by former Maple Springs staff member Ashley Cyre with the idea of adopting the staff of a unit or a department within the hospital there was no hesitation at all.  We said, “Yes!”  The unit that was presented to us was the Burn ICU and the Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery/Burn Acute care unit that is the sister unit.  Thanks to Erin Moses, our Leader of Connecting Ministries, who helped us come up with the idea, we started simply and once a month would provide the staff a simple treat of coffee/tea and some light snacks (cookies, veggie tray, muffins, etc.)  The staff began to look forward to our coming and thinking about them.  

One day one of the nurses on day shift came in and said “Oh, I am so glad you are here today.  This is going to be my lunch!  I am so busy I am not going to be able to go downstairs and get anything.”  Being a nurse who has had many shifts like that, I knew what it was like to have to work 12 hrs and not get to sit down and take a break to eat much less to take care of other biological needs.

That is when I presented the idea to the small group of us who were assisting with this ministry about serving a meal to the staff on both shifts.  All agreed!   It started as something as simple as sub sandwiches, veggies, chips, and homemade desserts and grew to often having hot meals such as tacos, lasagna, or hot dogs. 

As the staff have gotten to know Dee and me and the other Maple Springs volunteers who assist with serving, they have begun to share some of their stories with us and some even asked for prayers about personal trials that they were scared or concerned about.  There have been opportunities for us to pray with them right there in the conference room.   Knowing that I am able to reach out and minister to these hard working, caring people makes me feel empowered and they are validating that this is most definitely a worthwhile and needed ministry.  

The Pandemic put a halt to a lot of what we have been able to provide over the past 3 years and one of the most necessary components of this ministry has been the volunteers who have been able to help.  Because of massive construction at the medical center and reduced parking, as well as other restrictions to entering the medical center, our volunteers have not been able to help with the monthly meals.  Dee and I have scaled back visits to special occasions and holidays, like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Memorial Day.  Now as restrictions are starting to be lifted, we will again be seeking out volunteers that want to assist with this important ministry.  I hope you will reach out to Dee or me and ask more questions about how you can be involved.  or

what do WE Believe as the United methodist church?

by Rev. Sylvia Wilhelm

The core of our belief in the United Methodist Church is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Lord of all.  Our Wesleyan emphasis on grace enables us to live into that belief.  Through prevenient grace we are drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek God; through justifying grace we come to repentance and the forgiveness of sin and brought into a right relationship with God; and through sanctifying grace we move on to Christian perfection, which John Wesley (founder of Methodism) describes as “a heart habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor.”


In response to the Lordship of Christ, the mission of the United Methodist Church is “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  We believe that personal salvation is lived out in mission and service to the world----to be a passionate voice against injustice in whatever form it takes and to work toward the fulfillment of God’s kingdom on earth.


Through Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience (the Wesleyan Quadrilateral) we come to know more fully how to live out our faith in our daily lives.  Scripture is the primary source for all Christian doctrine.  Tradition draws on the story of the church through the ages, and as such, we hold to and profess the ancient creeds (Nicene & Apostles’ Creed).  Our experience, both individual and corporate, bears out and authenticates the truth revealed in Scripture and brought to light in tradition.  By reason we ask questions and seek to understand God’s will for our lives and our world.


The United Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments, the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, as means of grace whereby people are brought into the faith and nurtured in their faith journey.


The full scope of what we believe can be found in the Articles of Religion and the Social Principles of our Book of Discipline or at