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Highlands Church marks 50 years with 600 attendees comment (0)

August 6, 2009

Highlands Baptist Church, Huntsville, which normally has around 65 attendees on Sunday mornings, had close to 600 people in attendance July 12 for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Because of a church split last year, Elton “Bebe” Bice, chairman of the deacons, said, “we are a remnant of what we used to be.”

But that didn’t stop this Madison Baptist Association church, consisting of mostly senior adults, from celebrating in a big way.

The morning service opened with a flag ceremony, and former Interim Pastor Eugene R. Nail brought the message. After a churchwide lunch, former Pastor Jimmy Cargle brought the afternoon message. The day ended with a dessert fellowship.

Highlands Baptist, which began with nine people Feb. 15, 1959, has been busy in its short existence. In the past 50 years, the church has had five building projects; started a mission church that later became Clinton Avenue Baptist Church, the first black Southern Baptist church to be a member of Madison Association; and hosted the Tennessee Valley Hand Bell Festival.

In the 1970s, Highlands maintained an extensive bus ministry with eight buses and saw its Sunday School enrollment reach 1,000. As the church looks ahead, it hopes to grow by “Living His Love,” the theme of the anniversary celebration.

“Our vision and hope for our church is that we can rebound and see some regrowth from the opportunity we had” with the celebration, Bice said. “We are dedicated to reaching this community again.”

Don Ware is interim pastor.

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