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Eutaw’s Beulah Church gathers to honor 175th yearcomment (0)

June 19, 2008

By Jenifer Martin Siemens

An overflow crowd turned out on Mother’s Day, May 11, at Beulah Baptist Church, Eutaw, to celebrate 175 years of ministry.

"This was the biggest crowd we’ve had," said Sidney Allen, Beulah Baptist’s pastor since 2004. "Extra chairs were lining the pews, but there were still a dozen or so people outside who never could get inside."

More than 200 people attended the service and outdoor potluck feast of the Tuscaloosa Baptist Association church. The celebration attracted many who wanted to see once again the spring-fed baptismal pool and historic schoolhouse and log cabin Beulah purchased and uses for church functions.

The baptismal pool, complete with bathhouse, was renovated a year ago when Allen’s grandchildren accepted Christ and asked to be baptized there. Until then, it had not been used since the early 1900s. Allen said new believers now have a choice of being baptized in the pool or the church’s indoor baptistry.

Beulah got its start in 1833 — 28 years before the Civil War began. According to Jane Sellers, the church’s secretary and treasurer, 11 residents of the Beulah community, a small farming settlement that served as a stagecoach station for horse exchanges, recognized the need for a church at that time and founded Beulah Baptist.

The church name is based on Isaiah 62:4: "No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married."

In anticipation of Beulah’s anniversary celebration, the oldest members — cousins Milburn Lamb, 97, and Opal Mayo, 93 — were filmed as they recounted various memories of their church.

They spoke of God’s faithfulness following a fire in the early 1900s, church discipline extended to those caught dancing, long revival meetings in horse-and-buggy days and freed slaves who attended Beulah until they started a new church a few miles down the road.

The information gathered from the interviews was used to put together a history booklet for the celebration.

During the service, Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented Beulah Baptist with a plaque commemorating its milestone. Marvin Johnson, a former pastor, delivered an invocation.

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