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Gadsden’s Goodyear Heights celebrates 50 yearscomment (0)

September 2, 2010

There was no better way to celebrate 50 years at Goodyear Heights Baptist Church, Gadsden, than with a profession of faith.

The Aug. 1 anniversary service was filled to capacity with around 400 people present to mark this momentous occasion, but it was one woman’s decision to accept Christ that truly gave the congregation something to celebrate.

“This was an older lady who accepted Christ and it just made the day,” said long-time member Ruby Lee Yarbrough.

The service for the Etowah Baptist Association church was special in other ways too. Gary Cardwell, director of missions for Etowah Association, presented the church with a certificate commemorating its 50 years, and a representative of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission presented the church with a plaque for its service. Gary Williams, who was called to the ministry while at Goodyear Heights Baptist and who is now pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Boaz, was the special guest preacher.

And while the church with the name Goodyear Heights and at its current location marked 50 years, the true timeline of the church is actually a little older. The church was organized May 15, 1932, as Rogers Street Baptist Church.

Then in 1938, the church sold its existing property and bought new property on Henry Street and thus changed its name to Henry Street Baptist Church.

In April 1959, Henry Street Baptist sold its building to another Baptist church in town and bought new property on Piedmont Highway. On June 26, 1960, the church voted to change its name a second time to Goodyear Heights, and by August the new church building was completed.

Goodyear Heights has since built a pastorium, remodeled its sanctuary and built a family life center that included church offices, Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, a gymnasium and a fellowship hall.

As for its future, Pastor Tommy Ferguson, who has been at Goodyear Heights for 16 years, said he hopes the church will continue being founded on biblical principles. “(My hope is that we) remain true to the Bible in the days we are living in,” he said.

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