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Montevallo’s Enon Church celebrates 125 years, keeps striving to be ‘oasis’comment (0)

August 20, 2009

By Gary Hardin

In 1918, a 10-year-old boy, who later would become a noted leader in Southern Baptist life, professed his faith in Jesus at Enon Baptist Church, Montevallo.

Upon his baptism in Montevallo Creek, the boy became the 100th male member of the Shelby Baptist Association church. That boy, Herschel H. Hobbs, is best remembered as the chairman of the committee that produced the 1963 version of the Baptist Faith and Message. Today’s Sunday School teachers continue to use Bible commentaries based upon Hobbs’ work.

His connection with the church was remembered July 12 as Enon Baptist celebrated its 125th anniversary. Recognitions of and remarks about this landmark occasion came that day from Linda Rodgers, a commissioner with the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission; Hugh Richardson, director of missions for Shelby Association; and Jim Swedenburg, director of the office of Cooperative Program and stewardship development for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

Pastor Bill Trawick brought the morning message. The congregation enjoyed music by New Ground, a group from Scottsboro. The church also recognized the 10-year ministry (1969–79) of former Pastor Pat Minshew.

Enon Baptist has had quite an impact on W.L. “Buck” Anderson, a deacon who has been there 75 years. “At age 15, I made a profession of faith and was baptized. I’ve been at Enon my entire Christian life. I don’t know any other church but Enon.”

In 1884, the church was constituted with 24 members, who were mostly crop and dairy farmers. They gathered for church in the Dry Valley community outside of Montevallo. Looking to the Bible for guidance for a church name, this group selected Aenon (“place of much water”) from John 3:23. Later the name was shortened to Enon.

The new church declared its mission to be an oasis of spiritual water in Dry Valley. It is a mission Enon continues to undertake, said longtime member Edith Reid. “We have set a goal of reaching 25 young-adult couples who live in the area near our church.”

The church met once a month until the 1930s, when it began meeting twice a month.

In 1943, Fred Lowery became the first full-time pastor.

Enon’s first building was constructed in 1884. In 1938, Sunday School rooms and additional worship space were added.

Ten years after that, construction began on a new sanctuary and educational space. An educational building followed in 1960. Additional renovations to the church’s facilities were completed in 1973, including a fellowship hall named after Hobbs.

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