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Fayetteville Church marks 175th yearcomment (0)

September 4, 2008

By Jenny R. Riddle

Through 175 years of changes, the members of Fayetteville Baptist Church have remained just as passionate about impacting their community as the nine charter members who started the Coosa River Baptist Association church in 1833.

The now 64-member church, led by Pastor Bill Jones, celebrated its 175th anniversary with a service July 27.
Former pastor Lindy Martin served as guest speaker, and Sonny Lane, a former Fayetteville Baptist music  minister, and the Heavy Harmonies provided music.

During the service, church members like Thomas Edmondson reflected on memories. Edmondson, a member for 55 years, said he loves the church for its dedication to missions — both international and local. Among the local projects is helping with school and recreational athletic programs to “let (the community) know we’re there.”

“The people are ready to help anyone in need,” said Peggy McGrady of her church family she has called her own since the early 1980s.

Through the years, the congregation has occupied three buildings, which were erected in 1835, 1851 and approximately 1896. Each building was constructed without a mortgage.

Virginia Watters, a 93-year-old lifetime member, remembers when the church was cooled for the first time with ceiling fans and there was no running water in the building. She is now thankful for central heat and air conditioning, as well as indoor plumbing.

Most of all, Watters praises God for Fayetteville Baptist, which she said has “meant everything” to her.

Some of the more interesting moments from the church’s history concern disciplining members for behaviors such as swearing and not attending services. Offenders were restored to membership if they apologized before the church. In 1850, one man was brought before the church because he hosted a ball at his house. The man admitted that his children and neighbors might dance at times but promised to discourage this activity in his home and was allowed to remain part of the congregation.

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