BAKER — Roy Simon says love is a key ingredient to Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church's longevity.
"We all love each other," said the 58-year-old, a longtime member. "It's just togetherness ... no matter who you are or where you are from, everybody chips in."
Simon — who is studying to become a deacon at the church — and 100 others helped celebrate Lebanon's centennial with a memorial banquet on Saturday at the Baker Recreational Center.
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Current and former church members filled the community center to celebrate Lebanon's legacy.
"I was not going to miss this for the world," Marcell Young, of Tallahassee, said. "This is my church, this is my home."
The 28-year-old, who was master of ceremonies, said attending the church left an indelible impression.
"The reason that (Jesus) Christ is in my life is because of these people," he said.
Keynote speaker and former member Pastor Dwight Baggett, who serves at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Crestview, and Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Laurel Hill Pastor Tommie Lewis were among attendees.
Family tree displays and slideshows at the event illustrated Lebanon's long-spanning tradition across the generations.
Lewis, whose father, Will, also served as the church's pastor, said Lebanon's families form the church.
"They are made up of all different families from different places," he said. "They had the resources to work through all of their troubles."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.