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Harmony Grove Baptist Church celebrates 150th anniversarycomment (0)

November 29, 2007

Harmony Grove Baptist Church, Edwardsville, celebrated its 150th anniversary this summer with a special Sunday morning worship service.

“It was a good time to celebrate what God has done,” said Wanda Owen, a member of the church for 16 years. “We did a lot of reminiscing — like about when each of us had joined the church.”

The late Padgett Cope, who was then the director of missions for Cleburne Baptist Association, spoke at the Sunday morning worship service. Lonette Berg from the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission presented the church with a commemorative plaque.

“After the service we had dinner and singing,” Owen said. “It was a good time of fellowship. Several members who have been sick and unable to come to church were able to attend.”

Doug Prestridge has served as pastor at the church for 31 years but said sometimes he feels like he’s been there since the beginning.

“I told the church I hope I’m there for most of the next 150 years,” he quipped. “We’ve had our ups and downs like all churches, but I couldn’t ask for a better church and congregation to pastor.”

Prestridge said he believes some of the church’s longevity is due to the kindness of the members.

“I’d say 99 if not 100 percent of our members speak to everyone who comes on Sunday morning,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or how you’re dressed.”

Since he has been pastor at the church for so long, Prestridge said he’s had the privilege of knowing three generations of families in his church. “I’ve known the parents, their children, and then even their grandchildren,” he said. “It’s unusual for a pastor to be at a church this long and see so much.”

He attributes his long tenure as pastor to the love he and his wife, Cleo, have received from the congregation. “They love me and love each other,” he said. “That’s the key to everything.” (TAB)

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