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FBC Florence celebrates 125th anniversary comment (0)

June 6, 2013

By Julie Payne


It was a weekend of “Looking Back, Reaching Forward” for First Baptist Church, Florence, as the church celebrated its 125th anniversary May 17–19.

On May 17, the Colbert-Lauderdale Baptist Association church rededicated its chapel that once served as the church sanctuary. The speaker for the worship service was Nick Garland, a son of a former First, Florence, pastor. Garland was licensed and ordained at First, Florence, and is now a pastor in Oklahoma. The special worship leader was former minister of music Jerome Key.

Some of Garland’s family members, including his mother, surprised everyone by traveling from out of state to attend the service, said Oscar Beck, chairman of the 125th anniversary planning committee. Beck added that a history of the church was presented through hymns during the service and a reception followed.

Then on May 18, the church held an indoor picnic in the fellowship hall. After the supper, a new playground was dedicated. The children helped cut the ribbon and sang a song for the attendees. 

The evening worship service featured speaker Barry Sneed, a former minister of education and youth at First, Florence, who now serves as executive vice president of NavPress. The worship leader was Phillip Anderson, a First, Florence, supply music minister.

Roy Hill, pastor of First Baptist Church, Satsuma, who served First, Florence, in the late 1980s as minister of education and youth, spoke during the May 19 service. The worship leader was David Henderson, a former First, Florence, music minister who now serves as children’s minister at Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, Montgomery. 

Jerry Armor, representative from the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented First, Florence, with a plaque, and a proclamation written by Florence’s mayor was presented to the church by Dick Jordan, city council president and a former First, Florence, church member.

The weekend culminated with a covered dish lunch on the grounds.

Beck said the church is currently without a senior pastor and First, Florence, associate pastor Kevin Johnson “carried us through this weekend very well.” He added that those attending the weekend events were “smiling, having a good time and reminiscing.”  

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