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Hartselle’s New Center celebrates 125th anniversarycomment (0)

December 15, 2011

You could literally count the number of people who attended the first meetings of what would become New Center Baptist Church, Hartselle, in 1886 on one hand.

On the other hand, about 230 people attended the Morgan Baptist Association church’s recent 125th anniversary celebration. Many attendees are descendants of the founders or former pastors. Pastor Ben Bates, who has been at the church for one and a half years, said all former pastors, their widows or their descendants either attended or sent notes that were read in the service.

The service featured former Pastor Rayburn Morgan, who served from 1980 to 1987, talking about how much the deacons helped him and what a loving church New Center Baptist was during his tenure.

Bates said, “We still have a wonderful group of deacons who are really involved and loving. The tradition of New Center has apparently always been that of a loving family. In going through the minutes in preparation for the service, I found a reference in the minutes to a man in the community who was sick. The church appointed people to take care of him.”

Francis Scott Ferguson’s descendants presented a photo of him. Ferguson, along with wife Drucilla, donated the land for the church. Several family members still attend New Center.

The church used the opportunity to burn the note on its only mortgage, making it debt free with a 5-year-old sanctuary and Sunday School rooms.

Bates brought the main message, focusing on the faithfulness of Drucilla Ferguson, who attended church for the first year without her husband. Citing Ephesians 3, Bates said, “She and the other four original members couldn’t have imagined what their faithfulness would lead to.”

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