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Elba church marks 100th anniversary with large crowd at recent celebrationcomment (0)

September 20, 2007


Dallas “Dal” Farris and his wife, Linda, prepped the barbecue and trimmings two days in advance.

Their small church, New Haven Baptist, Elba, in Coffee Baptist Association, was expecting much more than its average Sunday attendance thanks to a special occasion made all the more special by Farris’ green hickory wood recipe, which he cooks over coals in an open pit.

August 26 marked New Haven Baptist’s 100th anniversary, which was commemorated with a special service.

Not only were 122 in attendance but the service itself lasted nearly two hours. It included sermons and sermonettes from current pastor Gary Dunn, four former pastors — Todd Smith, Robert Spicer, Mike Mayhall and Larry Doster — and one interim pastor, Louie Reynolds. 

“It was way more than we’ve had in many years at homecoming,” Farris said. “It was real interesting because [New Haven’s former pastors] each had something new to say and interesting to say. Everyone was really caught up in what was going on.”

And up to their necks in barbecue for the dinner on the grounds afterward. “We had plenty left over,” Farris said.

The day was dedicated to Ollie Farris, a relative of Dal who was baptized at New Haven in 1934 and is the church’s oldest active member. Most of her children and grandchildren were in attendance.

According to New Haven’s music minister, Greg Bailey, Ollie Farris’ family was among the founding members of the church.

Plaques of recognition of the occasion and accomplishment were presented to Dunn by Director of Missions John Granger on behalf of Coffee Association and Phyllis Talmadge on behalf of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission.

“Everybody had a real nice time. … Everything worked out real well,” Bailey said. (TAB)

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