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FBC Chalkville celebrates 125 years, ‘heart for gospel’comment (0)

September 17, 2009

By Stacey Jones

Since the horse-and-buggy days of the late 1800s, First Baptist Church, Chalkville, has been spreading the gospel — in its Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

On July 26, the Birmingham Baptist Association church celebrated 125 years of telling others about Jesus. And He was the focal point of the anniversary celebration.

“We made sure that the focus wasn’t on the past but on worshiping Jesus,” said Joel Farrow, who has been senior pastor of the church for almost nine years. “This was brought out in the music and the message.”

Ed Massey, pastor of First, Chalkville, from 1970 to 1978, delivered the sermon that day. Guy Anderson, former youth and music minister for 19 years, and his wife, Debbie, led in worship. There was also a video presentation commemorating the years of ministry.

Mabelene Perrin, who has been at the church since 1950 and served as a member of the celebration committee, said the anniversary was a marvelous time of recollection.

“It was a joy to remember … [and] great to see past members,” Perrin said, noting she was particularly thrilled to see the families of young men who, years ago, were in the youth department.

In 1884, First, Chalkville, was founded by 24 members who wanted a church in their community because it was difficult for residents to travel to established churches elsewhere. The members first met in a little house on the other side of the road from its present-day location.

Then, in 1950, the church relocated to a brick structure across the street. In 1973, a new sanctuary was built right next to that building. It was renovated in 2003. A children’s building also was added to the campus.

Presently First, Chalkville, has 790 members who undertake such ministries as a food closet, meals for the homeless and nursing home visitation. In addition, the church partners with Chalkville Elementary School to provide an after-school program on Wednesdays that offers activities for children.

“[We] have a heart for the gospel and want to share it with the community,” Farrow said. “Throughout the years, the community has transitioned greatly, and we are going to stay here and make necessary changes to minister to the community.”

First, Chalkville, also has a desire to reach the world. Members go on missions trips in the United States and overseas.

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