BAKER — Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church members invite area residents to celebrate 100 years of worship.
"We are throwing ourselves a party and we want everyone to come," longtime church member Aljonia Porter said.
Porter, 65, is the daughter of Samuel Allen, the church's oldest member at age 92. The Allens started worshipping at Lebanon in 1952, she said.
The church was established in 1914, with the first pastor being Rev. J.A. Thomas. In the early years, church baptisms would take place at the nearby Blackwater River.
Porter said she remembers attending first grade at the then-segregated Drew School, which shared facilities with the church.
The church is part of her family's past, present and future, she said.
"Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were members here," she said. "... We are working on the fourth and fifth generations now," Porter said.
The Rev. Dwight Baggett, of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, said he fondly remembers services at Lebanon.
"It was wonderful; we were taught the Bible and that is all we needed," he said.
Baggett said he was inspired to become a full-time minister after witnessing the spiritual path of his father, Alex Baggett, and grandfather, Will Henry, who were church deacons.
Baggett said Macedonia's preaching takes heavily from what he learned at Lebanon.
"(We) basically stay within Genesis and Revelations (in teaching the Bible)," he said.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church's 100th Anniversary celebration
EVENTSare as follows:
●Revival with the Rev. Alice Faye Allen: 7 p.m. Thursday, Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church, 1288 Washington Ave., Baker
●Revival with Pastor Russell Hughes: 7 p.m. Friday at the church
●Anniversary service with Pastor Tommie Lewis: 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the church
●Memorial Banquet: 6 p.m. Saturday at Baker Recreation Community Center, 5503 County Highway 4
COST: $10 for the Memorial Banquet
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.