Brierfield’s Six Mile marks 150 years with monthlong emphasiscomment (0)
July 15, 2010
By Ashley Anderton
The faces in a congregation change a lot over 150 years, but at Six Mile Baptist Church, Brierfield, one thing has remained the same — the people love God and others.
“If there’s a need and we have the funds to do it, we try to help people,” said Pastor Bob Hope.
A monthlong celebration of the Bibb Baptist Association church’s 150 years of giving culminated June 6 as about 100 people gathered to mark the anniversary.
During the morning service, Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented a commemorative plaque; Bill Wallace, director of missions for Cahaba Baptist Association, delivered the sermon; and Eddie Rew, minister of music, led in worship.
After the service, attendees enjoyed a fellowship meal, special music and a time of sharing history and favorite memories.
“We look back to remember what God has done,” Hope said. “But we don’t want to live in the past. We’re still going [forward].”
Since his arrival in 2000, the church — which has an average Sunday attendance of about 45 — has increased its benevolence ministry and started a scholarship fund to aid local high school graduates in pursuing an undergraduate degree. Six Mile Baptist recently awarded $3,000 in scholarships to college-bound students.
The church also gives financial support to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, as well as Bibb County United Christian Ministries, which provides necessities and assistance with utilities to those in need.
This year, Six Mile members supported international missions work in Thailand and Central America.
“I hope [that in] the next 150 years, Six Mile will still be here, and if Christ comes back, He’ll find the church doing the work,” Hope said.
The church’s beginning can be documented with the acceptance of its constitution in 1860. However, it is believed that Six Mile may have been founded as early as 1848. Determining the actual date is difficult, because the church’s early records are missing. There also is no record of the specific location of the congregation’s first building.
Nonetheless some aspects of its history are certain. For example, Sunday School dates back to April 3, 1864. Also the belfry was added to the church in 1906. In May 1997, an addition to the building created a fellowship hall, more Sunday School rooms, a pastor’s study and nursery.
In 2002, the sanctuary was closed as wind damage was repaired. That year, members met in the fellowship hall. During the renovation, history was found hiding underneath the sanctuary floor in the form of pillars made from sawed off pines and two huge rocks holding up the northeast corner of the building. One weight-bearing rock remains as part of the cornerstone today. The church rededicated the sanctuary Nov. 16, 2003.