Bassett Creek Baptist Church turns 200, still going strong preaching the gospelcomment (1)
May 13, 2010
By Grace Thornton
The sound of chimes floated out from the open doors of the little white church and down the red dirt road through Clarke County the morning of May 2.
It was soft but jubilant.
And jubilant it should be, said Chris Baker, director of missions for Clarke Baptist Association.
After all, Bassett Creek Baptist Church, Grove Hill, was turning 200.
And it’s showing no signs of closing up shop.
“I can’t help but think of all the lives that have been changed over the 200 years of Bassett Creek Baptist Church’s ministry,” Baker told a packed sanctuary that morning during the church’s anniversary celebration.
“And there is more to celebrate. It is not going to close its doors, but the doors are wide open, and Christ continues to be preached out across these hills from the little church in the woods.”
It’s a gospel legacy that started in 1810, when about 20 members started meeting in the Bassett Creek area — then part of the Mississippi Territory — in a crude log building with no floor. Split logs served as pews and wood torches provided light.
Meetings were irregular — probably no more than once a month — but Christ was the main thing then as He’s the main thing today, Pastor Chris Kynard said.
“I believe God is honored when we have genuine worship today and when we remember the past,” he said.
Preaching from Matthew 10, Kynard challenged the congregation to carry on the church’s gospel-preaching legacy by being sold-out disciples of Christ.
“Have you changed any part of your world to be a disciple of Christ? To be His disciple, you have to change the world,” he said.
Bassett Creek Baptist members need to discern the risk and then preach urgently, knowing that it will cost them, Kynard explained.
“What He’s given you is of no value if you choose not to use it,” he said.
In honor of the church’s two centuries of ministry, E.P. Walker, Bassett Creek’s longest-tenured deacon at 49 years, opened the service with a special prayer.
As a tribute to the past, the choir took those in attendance on a musical journey through the history of the church, singing songs from different eras and reading historical highlights in between songs.
The tribute started with the congregation singing “Amazing Grace” a cappella much as the congregation would’ve when it met in its first rustic log building in 1810.
And though the style of worship has changed over the years, illustrated by the songs sung, the message preached and the Savior worshiped have never changed, the presentation pointed out.
As part of the celebration service, Kynard presented the church with a flag that had been flown over the nation’s capital in honor of Bassett Creek’s 200th anniversary.
Local and state officials made presentations and sent letters of commendation, and Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented the church with a plaque.
“This 200th anniversary celebration is a demonstration of God’s faithfulness to the people of Bassett Creek Baptist Church and to your faithfulness in service to our Lord,” Berg said.