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Durant Chapel celebrates centennial, Godís faithfulnesscomment (0)

August 5, 2010

By Sammie Jo Barstow

On June 26–27, church members, former pastors and friends from at least seven states celebrated the 100th anniversary of Durant Chapel Baptist Church, located in the Cross Roads community six miles west of Bay Minette.

Pastor Henry Cox called the two-day event “a celebration of God’s faithfulness in the last 100 years and a commitment [to] our faithfulness to serve Him now and in the days to come.”

The June 26 event featured a fish-fry fellowship and remarks by former pastors. The next day, Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, preached the anniversary sermon.

“This church is grateful to God for their history, but they are not living in the past,” Lance said. “They are well situated for a bright future in serving the Lord locally and globally.”

Also present were Rick Barnhart, director of missions (DOM) for Baldwin Baptist Association; Larry Patterson, former DOM for Baldwin Association; and Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission.

The choir of Durant Chapel Baptist and the ladies’ ensemble of First Baptist Church, Bay Minette, provided special music.

Although Durant Chapel was founded in 1910, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Steadham donated land for its first building in 1909. The next year, G.W. Durant donated lumber to construct a small frame structure that served as the only church in the community, as well as a schoolhouse.

Like many churches in 1910, Durant Chapel was served by preachers who rotated among churches. W.J. Hobbs and A.D. Duck, a Methodist, were two of the first preachers. The believers worshiped in such harmony that the church was sometimes called Union Church, said 92-year-old Horace Duck, who is the son of A.D. Duck and was recognized during the anniversary celebration as the oldest active member.

In 1951, Durant Chapel aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The congregation worshiped in the original building until 1949, when a wooden sanctuary and three-story educational building replaced it. In 1976, those edifices were dismantled to make way for the present brick structures. The most recent building program began in 2005 and continued until this year. It added a 2,400-square-foot fellowship hall, more rest rooms and a new baptistry and included remodeling the sanctuary.

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