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Westover church sees ‘prospect’ of coming yearscomment (0)

August 13, 2009

Prospect Baptist Church, Westover, may be 175 years old, but its approximately 70 members are certain that God still has Kingdom work for them to do.

“The general consensus of our members at Prospect is this: [We] have been around a long time and, therefore, God has a purpose yet to be accomplished through this part of His body,” said Alice Huntley, a member since 2007.

Pastor Travis Trimble agreed. “We are anticipating what God is going to do to further His Kingdom through our passing the torch to the younger generation. … It is our responsibility to train up this generation.”

On May 17, about 100 people gathered to consider the past and look to the future of this Shelby Baptist Association church as it celebrated 175 years of service.

The guest speaker was Marcus Merritt, an associate in the office of evangelism for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. The Waylighters, a gospel group, brought entertainment after lunch.

Mable Walton, a member of the church for 66 years, was delighted to be part of the event. She joined Prospect at age 22 and has never belonged to another church. One of her favorite memories is her baptism in 1942 in Yellow Leaf Creek. Prospect didn’t have a baptistry at the time.

Trimble also has a special attachment to the church. He was ordained there in 1984. After that, he served as a pastor of churches in Alabama for about 20 years. Then he and his wife, Mary, returned to Prospect as members. He became pastor of the church in November 2004.

Prospect was founded in 1834 at a site near its cemetery, just south of the church’s present location.

After a fire destroyed its second building during a Wednesday prayer meeting in December 1964, the congregation built its current structure.

The church stays active in its community through several ministries. For instance, one Saturday a month, members participate in a parking lot ministry, offering a free meal or doughnuts to passers-by. Members report that a few people have visited Prospect because of this ministry.

“We felt the Lord leading us to do this,” Trimble said. “We were trying to find new ways to reach the community, sort of thinking outside the box.” (TAB)

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