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Mountain Hill Church marks 125 years of active servicecomment (0)

August 14, 2008

By Stacey Jones

Though the location has changed, the foundation, pillars and, most importantly, the vision of Mountain Hill Baptist Church in the Bethlehem community has remained the same for 125 years.

That was evident June 1 as the Montgomery Baptist Association church celebrated its 125th anniversary of serving God and community.

To mark that achievement, the church was presented with commemorations from Ken May, director of missions for Montgomery Association; Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission; and Bobby DuBois, associate executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. Andrew Smith, a former pastor, spoke during the service.

Mountain Hill was founded in 1883 in Crenshaw County. In 1912, the church of 30 members moved to its present location in southern Montgomery County.

All the usable materials from the old church were incorporated into construction of the new building.

The foundation, pillars and framing from the original church are still part of the present church.

At that time in the church’s history, pastors had no specified salary.

Instead, church members collected love offerings for the pastor. They also shared with the pastor whatever they could — from money to fruits and vegetables.

Pastor George King said this body of believers always has been accepting and willing to help each other.

“They are some of the most [spiritually] mature people I have been around,” he said. “While they have differences, they still love and care for one another. … They minister to each other.”

Many who were young couples attending the church in the 1950s are still there today.

In some cases, their families are, too. Currently there are several third- and fourth-generation families at Mountain Hill.

The present church has an average attendance of 50 for Sunday morning services.

It also has an active music program, Bible studies, Vacation Bible School and holiday programs.

Billie Davis, a member since 1967, said Mountain Hill can offer the same programs as bigger churches.

“Everything you will find in a much larger church is available in the little Mountain Hill Baptist Church that thinks itself capable of whatever the Lord lays on the hearts of the members,” Davis said.

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