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Athens’ Fairview Church celebrates 100 years of laboring for the Lordcomment (0)

November 12, 2009

By Greg Heyman

The labor of love its members put into helping Fairview Baptist Church, Athens, grow was remembered as the Limestone Baptist Association church celebrated its 100th anniversary Oct. 4. 

Approximately 200 people attended the centennial service, which included a message by Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

Malcolm Schrimsher is among the 150 who attend worship at the church every Sunday. He’s been a member since 1971 and with good reason.

“I have always seen the Holy Spirit work among us,” Schrimsher said. “The members we have are very well-grounded in Scripture, and we believe the Lord meets with us every week.”

Fairview Baptist has been meeting since 1909.

A history that member Brenda Greer prepared from minutes of business meetings indicates that it began as a tiny country church meeting just off of Nick Davis Road in eastern Limestone County.

In 1920, that meeting place was sold for $800. The church’s second building was a frame structure situated eight miles east of Athens on Nick Davis Road.

The new church building was dedicated Oct. 31, 1920. An addition was erected to the east side of the structure in 1945.

When Sunday School rooms were needed in the early 1950s, every willing person — including the children — worked a cotton crop, raising $743.67 for a building fund to help with construction of rooms on the south side of the building.

In 1966, Fairview entered into another building program with members donating not only their money but also their time and materials to the effort.

The result was the church’s third building, which was dedicated in 1967.

This building, also along Nick Davis Road, is where the congregation continues to meet for worship services.

Unlike the ones before it, this building contains a baptistry. Prior to this move, the church history indicates that baptismal services were held at Limestone Creek or neighboring churches when the weather was bad.

It’s because of the love and dedication of its members that Fairview has been able to accomplish so many things, said George Whitten, who has served as pastor since March 2007.

“Their love for the Lord and commitment is the thing that has kept them going strong,” he said.

Whitten believes that is demonstrated through their involvement with missions locally, nationally and internationally.

Both last year and this year, church members traveled to Oxford, where they did construction, cleaning and landscaping at the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries group home.

Other missions trips have taken them to places such as Bennington, Vt.; Sudbury, Mass.; and Bay St. Louis, Miss.
In 1998, the congregation raised money for constructing a church in Uganda.

For the past two years, Fairview has collected gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that delivers gifts to children worldwide and presents the gospel to them and their families. It is hoped the church will be able to participate again this year.

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