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Cullomburg Baptist Church marks 100 years, celebrates rich heritagecomment (0)

April 3, 2008

On Feb. 24, Cullomburg Baptist Church was jampacked with 250 friends, family and church members, more than twice the number typically in attendance. From toddlers to 93-year-old Lizzie Frost Waite, the church’s oldest member, they all gathered to celebrate Cullomburg Baptist’s 100th anniversary.

Sitting just shy of the Washington County line, the church is a small one. But it has at least 326 recorded baptisms in its 100 years of existence — and is proud of them.

After reading statistics detailing Cullomburg Baptist’s involvement in Choctaw Baptist Association, Director of Missions Franklin McLelland presented a plaque commemorating the church’s 100-year history. Jack Wright, district commissioner of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, also presented a plaque.

“It was a full house,” McLelland said. “They had it well planned. They had so much on the program.”
After the presentations came the music.

Cullomburg Baptist’s quartet sang, followed by the Reed Sisters — all six of them — who grew up in the church.

“They sang beautifully,” said Eunice Lassiter, serving in her 10th year as Cullomburg Baptist’s choir director and 45th year as treasurer. “It was wonderful.”

Lassiter’s grandparents were the first members to join the church, known then as Redemption Baptist Church, back in 1908. Her grandfather and father were both deacons. She has been a member of Cullomburg Baptist her entire life and vividly recalls former pastor Frank Morrison and his wife giving her a pair of pearl earrings as a child.

Morrison, 92, was one of six former pastors to deliver a message at the anniversary service.

Donnie Guy, Robert Smith, Sonny Hoven, Norman Powell and Tom Popelka also spoke.

Popelka was the keynote speaker. He is now an evangelist with Tom Popelka Ministries; Cullomburg Baptist was his first pastorate. 

“[Former pastors and pastors’ wives] reminisced about fond memories of their time spent at Cullomburg Baptist and gave us encouraging words for the future,” said Jeraldine Lassiter, church clerk.

The celebration also included a retrospective PowerPoint presentation and lots of meats, sides, casseroles and desserts. Despite the full house, “there were plenty of leftovers,” Eunice Lassiter said. (TAB)

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