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Selma’s Ocmulgee Church marks 190 yearscomment (0)

July 22, 2010


One hundred and ninety is probably not the biggest number you’ve ever thought of but go ahead and consider it for a moment. What happens when you think of that number in years? Suddenly 190 seems a little more significant. Now imagine a body that is 190 years old, a church body that is.

Ocmulgee Baptist Church, near Selma, celebrated its 190th anniversary June 13. Pastor Danny Sumerlin said when people think of 190 years, they might imagine something old and dying but “our church is not dying; it is very much alive and ready to reach our world.”

Ocmulgee Baptist celebrated with a two-hour service that highlighted the talent within and history of the church.

A men’s quartet, a ladies ensemble and several soloists provided special music. Those who have been members of the Cahaba Baptist Association church for more than 50 years were recognized. Following the service, lunch was served in the fellowship hall, giving members new and old, special guests and friends the opportunity to connect and share stories.

The church has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a log cabin in 1820. The congregation has grown from the original 12 members to nearly 500, and the meeting place has expanded through the years. The most recent expansion project, adding Sunday School rooms, a nursery, a children’s church chapel and bathrooms, was completed in June 2002.

Ocmulgee has its place in Alabama Baptist history since its founding pastor, Charles Crow, was the first president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The church also hosted the state convention annual meeting several times.

But Ocmulgee still has the same zeal for outreach as it had in its early days, Sumerlin noted.

Bob Edwards, who has been a member for 65 years, agreed, pointing to Awana, an evangelism and discipleship program for children, and Safety Net Academy, a ministry for wayward boys in the community.

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