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FBC Vina marks 100 years with old-fashioned dresscomment (0)

August 12, 2010

Members of First Baptist Church, Vina, have an appreciation for simple, old-fashioned ways.

To celebrate the Franklin Baptist Association church’s 100th anniversary July 11, they dressed as the charter members may have a century ago. Men wore overalls and top hats, while women donned dresses with aprons and feathered hats or bonnets. Ken Stovall, minister of music for First, Vina, led the congregation in singing gospel songs popular in 1910.

Danny Wooten, chairman of deacons, read the church history and paid tribute to Pastor Jerry Swimmer for being in the ministry 50 years. Swimmer, who was terminally ill, was unable to attend the service. He died July 24.

One hundred years ago — July 10, 1910 — 14 charter members met at an old school building in Vina to organize the church. A few months later, members selected the first pastor and by July 14, 1911, were making plans to construct a building.

In 1930, a larger sanctuary replaced the first building. In the 1970s, members renovated that sanctuary to make Sunday School rooms and constructed a new sanctuary. In 2007, a family life center was completed. It houses a commercial kitchen, additional bathrooms and a ladies’ banquet room. The congregation plans to construct a gymnasium in the future.

But the growth of First, Vina, hasn’t been limited to its building — the church has baptized 100 people in the past three years.

The church also has an active Brotherhood, Woman’s Missionary Union and two youth drama teams and a commitment to support the Decatur campus of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries.

For longtime member Gerelene Overton, there is a spiritual kinship among members. “It’s my second family. There’s just no place like it.” (TAB)

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