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Dauphin Island Church ‘rejoices’ over 50 yearscomment (0)

March 18, 2010

“Rejoice in the day of small beginnings” was Pastor Chris Schansberg’s message to the approximately 140 people gathered for Dauphin Island Baptist Church’s 50th anniversary celebration Feb. 28.

“Our society today is full of people who underestimate the importance of small beginnings,” Schansberg said, using Zechariah 4:1–10 as his text. But like the popular restaurant chain McDonald’s or the nation of Israel, “you always start small.”

And the Mobile Baptist Association church is no exception, he noted. The church, which was begun by a few people who saw a need for a Baptist mission on Dauphin Island, held its first service Oct. 18, 1959. Since that time, Dauphin Island Baptist has grown in size and had people from other countries like Germany, India and Japan come through its doors, accept Christ and share their faith with others in their homeland.

One of its most successful ministries is the Resort Ministry Center, which was begun approximately 35 years ago by then-Pastor Floyd Spears. According to Schansberg, more than 1,000 volunteer missionaries from across the country come through the center to do missions work in the region each year.

In the 12 years Schansberg has been at the church, it has begun a college outreach ministry, a senior citizen day program and an (online) podcast ministry, to name a few things.

Thus the anniversary celebration was a time to rejoice. Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, and Thomas Wright, executive director of missions for Mobile Association, were featured guests that day.

“You’d think [the day] would be about the past and it was … (but) it really became a focus on moving forward,” Schansberg said. “It was a reaffirmation that we could get out there and do whatever.”

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