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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

100 years!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Area church marks anniversary

For a century, a local church has kept their doors open to area residents and spreading the word of God.

"This is a very exciting time for us," Brazil First Baptist Church Pastor Mark Thompson said. "We are honoring the past as we prepare for the future."

In November, the church will be celebrating 100 years at the corner of Walnut and Maple Streets.

Although the church was organized in July 1897, members broke ground for the building at its current location in June 1908 and had its first services on Nov. 8, 1908. The dedication service took place on Nov. 22, 1908.

In honor of the anniversary the church has prepared a special dedication ceremony. Each Sunday during the month of October will focus on different areas of the church service.

Oct. 5 is the kick-off date and the church will be focusing on the Youth Ministry.

"There has always been a strong focus on our youth ministry," Pastor Thompson said. "The children will perform and we will recognize our youth group."

The church is also planning on recognizing "The Gathering."

"They are a singing group from the 1980s," Planning Committee Co-Chair Sharon Mishler said. " They wear costumes and have musical presentations."

Other events have also been prepared for the day.

"We also have an audio and visual presentation planned," Planning committee Co-Chair Carolyn Thompson said. "It will involve pictures from bible school, Easter egg hunts and youth camps."

Pastor Thompson said First Baptist offers a full range of programs for every member of the family, Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (AWANA) a non-denominational program which runs parallel with the school year.

"What is unique about our program is that we include the toddlers program, and not every church does that."

The family unit is key at First Baptist Church.

"The family involvement is very important to us," Pastor Thompson said, "From newborns to great-grandparents, and since we try to minister to all ages, we want this dedication to be for everyone involved in the church."

On Oct. 12, the service plans to focus on the missions.

"We have been a church that has focused on being mission minded," he said. "This is evident even when the church was being built, members still collected money for missions."

Women play an important role in the church, and over the years that role has not diminished.

"There has always been a Ladies Organization in the church," Mishler said. "Within the church we use to be called the Ladies Industrial Society, now we are called the American Baptist Women's Mission."

"The church cost $12,000 when it was built. Upon the completion of construction they still owed $7,000," she said. "The Ladies Industrial Society raised $1,000 through rummage sales, bake sales and other things of that nature to help pay for the church."

The focus will move on to service and fellowship on Oct. 19.

"We plan to recognize men that have left the church when called into the ministry, I believe that there have been 12-15 individuals," Pastor Thompson said. "I also hope to mention members like Stephanie Plummer, she was actually not called away from the church but has been encouraged to stay."

All pastors, present and past, will be honored at the Oct. 26 service.

"There will be a brunch from 8:45-10:30 a.m." Mishler said. "We have five former pastors that are still living and three that are still serving other churches."

"Raymond Rissler, Norman Godfrey, Warren Purcell, John Parsley and Robert Sampson are all former pastors of First Baptist and are living," she said. "Pastor Thompson is our 17th pastor since the early years of the church."

Carolyn said times have changed especially the amount of money paid to the first pastor. "His name was Rev. Whitcomb and he was paid $4 per month and the janitor at the time was paid $1.25 per month."

Pastor Thompson encourages anyone who has served the church, whether they were a pastor or not, to come back and enjoy the day with us.

The big day comes on Nov. 2 with the dedication ceremony to the next 100 years and a carry-in dinner after the service.

"We plan to continue the theme of praise and preparation for the next 100 years of worship in our building," Pastor Thompson said.

He commented that looking into the past has given them ideas for the future.

"By looking to the past we have found interesting and intriguing things," Mishler said with a laugh. "The church had an orchestra, when the church was built we had an orchestra."

The idea of bringing more music back to the church is now in the works.

"We are working on a youth band," Pastor Thompson said with a big smile on his face. "Any youth that wants to come in and bring their gifts is welcome."

Even with the celebration and rededication of the church, he still commented on the mission of the church remaining the same.

"We hope that people who enter our doors leave here better than they came," Pastor Thompson said. "By spending a few hours in God's house on a Sunday morning."


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I grew up in the First Baptist church, got Baptized in the church. And got married (the 1st time) in that church Had a lot of good friends in the church. A lot of good memories. I sang alot of songs, alone and with a good friend Chris Epple. I wish them a very Happy 100 and hope the church continues for 100 more.

-- Posted by Former Brazilian on Sat, Oct 4, 2008, at 6:10 PM

I grew up in the First Baptist church, got Baptized in the church. And got married (the 1st time) in that church Had a lot of good friends in the church. A lot of good memories. I sang alot of songs, alone and with a good friend Chris Epple. I wish them a very Happy 100 and hope the church continues for 100 more.

-- Posted by Former Brazilian on Sat, Oct 4, 2008, at 6:11 PM

I have many fond memories of this church, that my family attended for years, my girls grew up in this church, I was also baptized and married in the church, My Aunt Ruth Walker sang in the Choir as I did too, and my Grandmother Ruth Somes attended the church for years as well.A very happy 100 years!!!! Brings back so many great memories.

-- Posted by maryruth51 on Sun, Oct 5, 2008, at 7:42 AM


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