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Boaz church celebrates growth, new facilities on 125th anniversarycomment (0)

September 13, 2007

By Laura K. Womble

Back in the Depression, members of Beulah Baptist Church, Boaz, had a capital growth campaign that was all their own — they planted cotton and gave the proceeds to pay for the church’s new brick building.

“When [Beulah Baptist] was first established, it was in a rural, farming community. We’ve gone from a simple country church to a beautiful modern-day building that is still growing,” said Sherree Foxx, who serves on the history committee of the Marshall Baptist Association church.

It was standing-room only at Beulah Aug. 19 as the congregation, former pastors and members of the community gathered to celebrate the church’s 125th anniversary and the addition of new facilities. Following morning worship, a tour was given of the new fellowship hall and Sunday School wing. Potluck lunch was served in the fellowship hall, followed by a dedication ceremony for the new buildings and a symbolic “setting of the cornerstone.”

The church remains at the original site where it was established Aug. 19, 1882, following a revival meeting in a brush-arbor — a clearing sheltered by overhanging trees — on Beulah Road.

Bobbie Mashburn joined Beulah Baptist when she was baptized there as an 11 year old in 1943.

“[The church] has such a special meaning to me because of the history of it and because so many of my relatives were involved with the building of it,” Mashburn said.

Her great-aunt Nancy Miller gave the acre of land where the original sanctuary was built. Mashburn’s great-great-grandmother Leevisa Gay was the first person buried in the Beulah cemetery and had predicted that a great church would be built at the site.

Following another revival in 1929, the wooden church building was razed and a brick building was constructed. In addition to the cotton money put toward the building, women from the church held a quilt fund-raiser. Members of the congregation paid 10 cents each to have their names embroidered on the quilt, and proceeds went to the church. The quilt, which was passed down to Mashburn, was on display at the anniversary celebration.

Beulah, currently led by interim pastor Ben Edmondson, has gone through many stages from its days in the small, wood-frame building on an acre lot to its current facility and expansions.

“It is wonderful to see so many people there and to know that even after all of this time, the church is still growing,” Mashburn said.

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