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Brent Baptist Church honors 100-year history that started with simple Sunday School programcomment (0)

November 1, 2007

By Sammie Jo Barstow

When two mothers established a Sunday School in Brent just after the turn of the 20th century, they had no way of knowing that a century later, a thriving church would still be present as a result.

Former pastors and former and current members of Brent Baptist Church in Bibb Baptist Association gathered Oct. 13–14 to celebrate the church’s 100th anniversary.

The weekend was a celebration of what God has done in the past and is continuing to do, according to Interim Pastor Conrad Baggott.

For instance, Baggott baptized the newest member of the congregation during the Sunday morning celebration service — Heather Worrell, age 8.
“This is appropriate, for her to be baptized (in this celebration service) to usher in the next century,” Baggott said.
Also during the celebration, many longtime members shared memories of the work that God has done in the past 100 years.

One such work was keeping the congregation safe when a tornado destroyed the church on a Sunday evening in 1973. Several members were in the basement when the storm struck.

The next Sunday, the church met in folding chairs set up among the rubble and listened as David McGowin preached his first sermon as the new pastor.

Mary Von Krout is one member who remembers the tornado well. A member since 1930, she was honored during the anniversary service for having the longest membership at Brent Baptist.

Tucker Medders was also honored as the deacon with the longest tenure. Fifty years as a deacon “made a great difference in the way I live my life,” Medders said.

Ruth Dailey, chairwoman of the history committee, was one of a number of church members who took great pains to make sure the church got the celebration it deserved.

For months leading up to the service, Dailey researched the archives at Samford University in Birmingham and local newspapers as well as talking with descendents of the pastors.

She also managed to locate photos of all 29 pastors just in time for the celebration.
The photos now hang near the church’s entrance.

Another display completed for the occasion was a commemorative quilt with five squares depicting the life of Christ surrounded by 15 others that depict important scenes in Brent Baptist’s history.

Thirteen women at the church spent several years finishing the quilt, which now hangs in the new fellowship hall.

In addition, a centennial Bible was placed on the altar table to commemorate the anniversary.
Brent Mayor Dennis Stripling and Melanie Metz of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission also presented proclamations to the congregation during the service.

Robert Crider, who retired as pastor in February, preached the anniversary sermon, challenging the church to continue its tradition of caring for the community and reflecting Jesus.

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