Pine Flat Baptist members remain faithfulcomment (0)
January 6, 2000
By Greg Heyman
The congregation of the small Pine Flat Baptist Church, Selma, remembers the heartache accompanying the departure of it pastor, Brent Paige, in October.
“Everybody loved Brent,” said lifelong member Bruce Fuller. “That hurt is when he left. There were no hard feelings, everybody was hurt when he left; we had a good relationship with him.”
Paige’s departure to a church in Talladega also presented a challenge for the church of approximately 58 worshipers to remain intact. Far from a setback, Fuller, 38, said the absence of a pastor is spurring church members toward greater commitment.”
“We’re doing fine.” Fuller said.
Each Sunday, upwards of 45-50 of the church’s total enrollment of approximately 58 people remain faithful in attending the morning service, returning that night for a second helping of the good Word.
“It’s just like one big family and we stick together and always have,” have said church treasurer Rosanell Oakes, who has been at Pine Flat for some 50 years. “Whenever we get without a pastor, this old church sticks together until we can find one.”
The church is relying on the services of different interim pastors.
Fuller shares the story of a recent Sunday evening service, when a member of the congregation spoke for 15-20 minutes, followed by a time of prayer.
“In all honesty, we probably grow as a church more,” Fuller speculated. “We have to draw on each other and rely on each other more.”
A deacon and superintendent of Sunday School, Fuller said Pine Flat’s fellowship increased “so much,” following the departure of another pastor three years ago.
“We were closer, pulled together,” he said.
“Being a rural church like we are, there’s a lot of close family ties right there,” Fuller said, adding he believes the closeness helps alleviates the dissension that often arises in larger congregations.