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Andalusia’s Hopewell Church marks 150th year, celebrates past, present, future erascomment (0)

September 25, 2008

By Deirdra Drinkard


Recognizing what God has done in the past, is doing in the present and will do in the future, Hopewell Baptist Church, Andalusia, celebrated its 150th anniversary Aug. 17.

The past, present and future was a recurring theme throughout the homecoming celebration of this Covington Baptist Association church.

It figured prominently in the worship service as Edwin Patterson, former pastor of Hopewell, spoke on the past; Richard Collier, former interim pastor, highlighted the present; and Barry Wilkinson, current pastor, focused on the church’s future.

“It is humbling to take part in God’s faithfulness,” Wilkinson said.

Hopewell was founded in 1858 and first joined Bethlehem Baptist Association, according to Joyce Godwin, a long-time member of the church.

But Emma Copeland, another long-time Hopewell member, pointed out that, in 1861, the church became part of Zion Baptist Association, which was later named Covington Association.

During the church’s 150-year history, members have met in four different church buildings. The original structure was built 1858–59 on the north side of Brooklyn Road.

In 1890, the second building was constructed on the south side of Brooklyn Road. Then in 1920, the third building went up on the site of the second building.

After the fourth building was completed in 1958, the third structure was used several years for educational space, according to Godwin.

Keeping with the anniversary theme, Copeland helped decorate three rooms depicting the past, present and future of Hopewell.

The “past” featured a kerosene lantern, a washstand and basin. Common attire of the era — such as a white shirt and overalls and a lady’s high-collar dress — was included in the display. A large black-and-white photograph showed the old 1917 church building. There was also a cross in the room.

“We included the cross because this was all made possible because of the cross,” said Copeland.

The “present” was depicted with a current photograph of the church, showing a banner proclaiming “Hopewell Baptist Celebrating 150 Years.” Also featured in the room were pictorial reminders of missions trips church members have taken in recent years.

The “future” room included a table with a Bible and a prayer bench. Spotlighted on the wall was a picture of the world with a cross overhead.

“The picture is of something we want to do and that is to evangelize the world through Hopewell,” said Copeland.

To commemorate Hopewell’s years of ministry, Don Donald, a commissioner of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented the church with a plaque. Leroy Cole, community and social ministry director for Covington Association, also presented a plaque on behalf of the association and the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

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