Lynchburg is known for its devout Christian culture, but another religion is flourishing in the Hill City with members making new friends in unexpected places.
Every Friday, a small mosque on Airport road fills with loyal followers of Islam.
They come for prayer and a message.
Lynchburg's Muslum population is growing, thanks in part to the high number of skilled jobs in the city that attract Middle Eastern natives and their families.
So many live here now, that a congregation has formed: The Greater Lynchburg Islamic Association.
The group has an open door policy. Members want the community to understand what they're all about.
"Islam is a peaceful religion," says Masqud Ahmad, President of the Greater Lynchburg Islamic Association. "We are just like you. We love our neighbors."
Part of loving their neighbors means reaching out to Christians.
"I think all ignorance is overcome in relationships and friendships," says Liberty University professor Edward Smither, who works closely with Mosque leaders to build understanding between the two religions.
"They're people," says Smither. "They're working. They have families, they have hopes and dreams just as we do."
The interaction is having a positive effect. LU students are learning about Muslim culture and members here at the Mosque are forming new friendships.
"I don't separate them from me, because they are nice to me," says Mosque member Jamila Hasanat. "They are a friend to me. I have a lot of Christian friends. I go to their house. They come to my house."
Sharing the truth about their religion is important.
"It doesn't mean that you just pray, pray, pray but you don't do the other part the duty, every day duty for your parents, your wife, your children," says Ahmad.
In a town known for its strong Christian faith.
"I feel that everybody is nice, and it's a friendly neighborhood," says Hasanat.
Members of two very different faiths are proving you can live together peacefully.
"To move toward people that are different from us, to learn about them, build relationships with them and to love them," says Smither.