Small Butler County church draws big crowd for 150thcomment (0)
January 4, 2007
It’s been a long time since the vaulted ceiling and solid-wood walls of Sardis Baptist Church in Butler County have contained the 400-person crowd they’re built to handle.
“We have 14 on a good day, but those days are not average. But the few we have are quite faithful,” Pastor Burney Enzor said.
As the Pigeon Creek community has faded away and the population became sparse over the past several decades, the Butler Baptist Association church’s attendance has done the same.
So when about 200 people converged on Sardis Baptist Oct. 29, 2006, for the church’s 150th anniversary celebration, it was “just a marvelous, great boost to our morale and spirit,” Enzor said.
“It was an awesome turnout for the size community we have now,” he added. “It was mostly old members and their descendents, which showed us that there are still many who are connected and have a sense of belonging to that neighborhood.”
During the daylong celebration, guests sang and former pastors were recognized. Former members also shared stories of the church over the years, such as when the building was struck by lightning.
“They were great stories to tell, and we let them tell them,” Enzor said. “We let them talk, then we came back in the afternoon and talked some more. No one seemed to be in a great hurry to leave.”
During the afternoon service, the church — chartered in 1856 with 12 members — received honors from the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, President George W. Bush, Gov. Bob Riley and Butler Association.
Those present for the celebration also helped bury a time capsule to be uncovered on the church’s 200th anniversary.
“The faithful members we have at Sardis Baptist are hoping for the future when we will have a larger congregation,” Enzor said. “The day was wonderful. Our guests were gracious people, and we were happy to have them back. That boost will keep us going for a while.” (TAB)