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FBC Alabaster honors 50th year with weekend of special festivitiescomment (0)

November 1, 2007

By Ashley McCleery

For former and current members of First Baptist Church, Alabaster, the beginning of October was cause for a celebration as the Shelby Baptist Association church marked its 50th anniversary.

Festivities commenced the afternoon of Oct. 6 in the church parking lot with a carnival, live music and exhibits full of church memorabilia, followed by a potluck dinner and a celebration service. During the service, Marion Corley — the church’s first pastor — spoke and charter members and former staff members were recognized.

Since current Pastor Neil Knierim has only served at the church for two years, he said he was delighted to be a bystander in the service, learning about the history of First, Alabaster.

“It was good to get acquainted with everybody, people who were here long before me and had been there awhile, and hear stories from the past,” Knierim said.

Also in the celebration service, Alabaster Mayor David Frings presented a proclamation, naming Oct. 7 First Baptist Church of Alabaster Day in honor of the church’s 50 years of service to the community.

During the three Sunday morning services, former minister of music Bob Greene, former minister of education Keith Smyser and pastor emeritus Wayne Crumpton each delivered a message detailing the ways in which the Lord worked in the church during his time of service.

Knierim said he was glad Greene and Smyser were able to speak during the anniversary celebration because they were both vital in helping the church mourn its third pastor, Olen Nall, who was killed in a car accident.
“They provided leadership at a really important time,” Knierim said. “They had to lead the church and deal with the stunning death of a very loved pastor” of almost 15 years.

As pastor for 23 years, Crumpton said he saw a lot of growth. “We went from three, four, five hundred, and we grew until we were running over a thousand. That was something to get excited about,” he said.

Not only did the congregation more than double but so did the size of the church building. Five new buildings were constructed during Crumpton’s years of service, including the sanctuary, nursery, office suite, family life center and children’s building.

“Someone asked me, ‘How do you go about building a church building?’ I just said, ‘It’s not me. It’s the Lord,’” Crumpton said.

Completing the anniversary festivities Sunday night, the orchestra, choir, praise band and praise team led the congregation through a celebration of music, commemorating the past 50 years with musical favorites.

Former music minister Mike Byars sang several songs, and former minister of youth Randy Overstreet gave a brief message.

Overall Knierim said the anniversary events were a perfect way to celebrate the church’s past, present and future.
“It’s been great to look back throughout the years and see where the church is today.”

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