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Baptists share hopes for new yearcomment (0)

January 30, 2005

By Johnie Sentell

Baptists around Alabama recently shared some of their hopes for the new year.

In north Alabama, Jim Cooley, pastor of Haleyville First Baptist Church since 2003, mentioned two goals for the year. He noted that the church’s fellowship hall and educational space were destroyed by a tornado in 2001. Last July the church rededicated the replacement facilities, which cost about $1.4 million. “This year we are consolidating our growth,” he said. “And we will be developing a shepherd ministry through our deacons, emphasizing what it means to be both leaders and caretakers.”

Brother Cooley called one church member “an amazing lady.” He said Gertrude Teague has been involved in “just about every area of church life you can imagine.” Mrs. Teague, who turned 97 Dec. 16, makes pies and cakes and always has some in her freezer, so anytime somebody visits her she has something for them.

One of her four daughters, Rena Walker, noted Mrs. Teague has had a garden “every year I have ever known of.”
She continued, “Mother handles all her business and does all her own housework. She keeps her mind and her body active. She has not had any real health problems, so you have to give the Lord a lot of credit.”

In south Alabama, New Ebenezer Baptist Church (Alabama Crenshaw Assoc.) will dedicate its new sanctuary Jan. 30 at 3 p.m., and revival services will be held Jan. 31–Feb. 2. William Leverette, pastor since October 2000, noted Carpenters for Christ from Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery “and many others” helped with construction, including churches in Birmingham and Muscle Shoals associations. “We are in a rural area that is experiencing growth from Montgomery,” he said. “We want to put the new building to use. We know that God’s blessings have come to us because of our being very missions minded. We want that to continue.”

In east Alabama, Pastor Thompson Pitts of Hatchett Creek Baptist Church (Carey Assoc.) in Clay County will celebrate his 75th birthday Jan. 30. He had lived nearby for 20 years serving other churches, but when the church became pastorless last fall, he was available and accepted the call. The church has about 30 members.
They built an addition with four new Sunday School rooms in the last couple of years. The church gives 10 percent to missions. “If we grow spiritually we will grow in numbers,” Bro. Pitts said. “If we just love one another and love Jesus, there is nothing we can’t do.”

Brother Pitts plays the guitar. Song leader Pam Horn said, “He and his wife Rosie sing these old gospel songs, and they just touch your heart.” Mrs. Horn’s husband Cary has served as Hatchett Creek’s church clerk for two years, succeeding his mother, Lanora Horn, who served 42 years. Now 84, she has suffered three heart attacks and a broken hip. “I enjoyed being the church clerk,” she said, adding that she reads all of The Alabama Baptist every week. “They have some good reading in there,” she said.
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