First Baptist Church celebrating 150 years

Published 9:39 am Friday, October 6, 2017

As the oldest African-American church congregation in Clark County, First Baptist Church on South Highland Streets always celebrates its anniversary in October.

This year will be different as the church celebrates 150 years in Clark County.

The church was organized in 1867 from a number of churches around the county in the wake if the Civil War. The congregation built its first church building in 1893, followed by the current building on South Highland in 1929.

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The church has scheduled a week of events to mark the occasion with guest pastors or concerts every night beginning Sunday, church member Teresa Hodgkin said.

“We’d love everyone in the community to come,” she said. “The doors are open and everyone is welcome.”

From Sunday through Tuesday, there will be a nightly revival at 7 p.m. featuring guest pastor Breonus Mitchell. Wednesday will have a special worship service at 7 p.m., followed on Thursday evening by a rehearsal for the reunion choir on Friday.

“It’s our full choir and we’re having a lot of out-of-town guests coming in,” Hodgkin said. “Anyone who’s been in the choir in the past has been invited back.”

With a regular choir of about 35 people its ranks could swell to 50 or more for the reunion concert, she said.

On Saturday Oct. 14, there will be an anniversary banquet at the church featuring comedian Marcus D. Wiley from the Yolanda Adams Morning show. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the meal and program at 6:30 p.m.

Everything wraps up Sunday, Oct. 15, with the anniversary worship service at 10 a.m. Hodgkin said the service will include liturgical dances, a video presentation, a proclamation from Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and another guest pastor, Richard Gaines of Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington. A meal will follow the service, she said.

For more information, call the church at 744-6624.