Gallion Baptist growing, buildingcomment (0)
June 29, 2000
By Greg Heyman
Stancil Clements still remembers presiding over the life of Gallion Baptist Church in Hale Association as its pastor when the church broke ground for its new sanctuary in 1971.
He was also on board as interim when Gallion moved forward again and broke ground March 5 for the church’s new $900,000 education building.
Clements, who served as pastor from 1966 to 1973, returned as interim in July 1999. He lives in Cottondale, but still makes the approximately 60-mile trek to Gallion almost every Sunday to officiate as interim pastor.
The church said the new two-story, 17,280-sq.-ft. building will include a glass-enclosed walkway connecting it to the sanctuary.
The facility will also boast classrooms for youth and adults, a kitchen, fellowship hall, offices for the pastor and director of music and a multipurpose room.
Clements adds the building will also feature a basketball goal and “things for the young people.”
Admitting he was initially hesitant about returning to his old church, Clements said he has enjoyed the experience. “It’s wonderful,” said Clements, who retired from 40 years of full-time ministry.
And church members appear to be excited with the work he’s doing during his second tenure at Gallion, urging him to return to the pastorate indefinitely.
“They’ve tried to get me to take it, but I’m (almost) 73 years old,” said Clements, who turns 73, July 2.
“He’s just a wonderful preacher,” said Gallion member Pam Hall, noting age hasn’t slowed Clements. “He works just as hard as he can.”
And he puts a major emphasis on hospital visitation. “He’s right there for us,” Hall said.
A recent Sunday saw four baptisms, with a total of 19 new members since Clements returned to the church a year ago.
Clements said Gallion usually averages 140 in Sunday School each week, with attendance at worship sometimes exceeding 200.
“I have seen a change that only God could have done,” Clements said.