Residents of Millennium Ready to Ring in the New Year
Posted December 30, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
MILLENNIUM VILLAGE — There is a place in the eastern part of North Carolina where residents have to deal with the Millennium every day of every year. That is where they live. The tiny village of Millennium is located southwest of Ahoskie in Hertford County.
For just one night, the village of Millennium is basking in the national spotlight. The Hertford County community may be the only Millennium in America.
"It's not going to be like the Big Apple, but we're going to enjoy it," says resident Samuel Farmer.
The small community was started by a Pentacostal preacher 88 years ago when he founded a church and named it after a Biblical passage.
Villagers liked the name, and soon Millennium started popping up everywhere.
"Then when the fire department came in 1962, they named the fire department Millennium fire department. So the state came along and put up a state sign, Millennium."
On New Year's Eve, residents will gather in the church's tabernacle, built decades ago for summer revivals.
At the stroke of midnight in Millennium, a crane will lift a giant dove over a vacant field. It is a a deliberate effort to be different.
"The coming up is to give us the expectation of a blessing rather than a downing, or counting down which would be like a downer," says pastor Paul Edwards of Millennium PH Church.
"The spirit of God is so prevailed out here at this land that we're standing on," says resident K.O. Jones. "In fact, I consider it holy land, holy ground."
Villagers cherish the community's history and its name, a name that means much more on this night.
Organizers say the celebration is open to anyone, but leave the champagne at home. Millennium's celebration is alcohol-free.