Heflinís Oak Hill celebrates 200th anniversarycomment (0)
July 21, 2011
A dozen cars made their way down the bumpy dirt road in Heflin to the ashes and a few cement pillars that used to be Oak Hill Baptist Church.
The faithful few sat on picnic tables under the trees, opened their Bibles and praised God for His blessings even after an act of arson had taken their beloved old church building.
One drop, two, three, four.
Sprinkles turned into heavy rain from the open sky above as people quickly moved their cars close to one another. With each window cracked, the worship and Bible study continued.
That was 10 years ago.
On June 12, Oak Hill Baptist had a double celebration — a decade in the new church building and 200 years of existence as a church.
More than 50 people attended the celebration, about 20 more than usual. Pat Musselwhite of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission presented the church with a certificate, and Carroll East Sr., discipleship training director for Cleburne Baptist Association, presented historical information about it. Pastor Brian Turner gave a “celebration”-themed message, and, of course, there was food to follow the morning service.
“Some of the best” banana pudding, fried chicken and casseroles loaded the tables lined end to end on the church property, Musselwhite said with a laugh.
The afternoon was filled with music from The Happy Hearts, of Wedowee; Crimson Flow, of Alexandria; and the church’s choir.
And there was good reason for the songs and celebration.
Pam Higgins, who organized the celebration, emphasized the blessing of donations the Lord provided for Oak Hill during the rebuilding phase.
“So many people donated their time, materials or discounted materials,” she said. “As we built, we paid [off the debt] every month.”
The new building, which includes the sanctuary, fellowship hall, two bathrooms, two Sunday School rooms and two storage rooms, is not only several times larger and more modern than the original building but it is also debt-free.
Although the church has seen plenty of hardships, “[it] just keeps going,” Musselwhite said.
“There was such a spirit of praise (at the celebration),” she said. “They were all giving credit to the Lord for everything that was accomplished in that place.”