Church surprises Hanceville middle schoolers with holiday project


Before and after shots show the work a group of volunteers from Hanceville First United Methodist Church did in a girls’ restroom at Hanceville Middle School.  (Photo courtesy HFUMC)

HANCEVILLE – Eighth-grade students at Hanceville Middle School (HMS) returned from Christmas break Thursday morning to discover one more gift: a team from Hanceville First United Methodist Church (HFUMC) had slipped in during the holiday season to renovate the bathrooms in Edmondson Hall with fresh paint jobs, mirrors and even a few custom touches.

HMS teacher and HFUMC Friendship Circle ladies’ group President Elizabeth Watwood came up with the idea and presented it to her group.  With supplies purchased through a church special ministries fund, Pastor Paul Campbell and his wife Kyla Campbell, Watwood and her husband Ty Watwood, Nancy and Lane Horton, Sandy and Dewayne Waters, Chris and Sabrina Ryan, Chris Chaffin and Alexis Pitts provided the labor to complete the project.

Nancy Horton, a retired county schools superintendent and former Hanceville teacher who taught in Edmondson Hall, told The Tribune, “There were two bathrooms there that were just done in like two-tone gray, and it concerned Ms. Watwood; she was in that building, but she was concerned that they were just sort of just plain, and there weren’t mirrors for the girls.

“Ms. Watwood’s in my Sunday School class.  And so she had talked to us at church about helping her paint and just decorate those restrooms a little bit, to liven them up and make them, you know, a little more pleasant rather than just being two tones of gray.”

Horton explained that the team painted the restroom walls and partitions, installed mirrors and storage cabinets, and painted inspirational messages on the walls for students to read.

Sandy Waters related a story from a teacher about the students’ discovery of the team’s work:

“She said about four or five girls went down there, and she stuck her head out the door, and said they went in, and she could hear them hollering and squealing.  And they ran back out in the hallway and said, ‘We’ve got mirrors! We can see ourselves!’ You know, so they got a lot of positive reaction to it.”

“You know,” said Waters, “sometimes it doesn’t take a whole lot of just a little thing to boost somebody’s self-esteem.”

For more on Hanceville First United Methodist Church, visit

Copyright 2019 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.