Bethel Baptist begins yearlong 150th anniversary celebration Sunday
The pastor and members of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church will kick off a yearlong, sesquicentennial celebration on Sunday at the 8 a.m. unity service. Church members will wear white to signify the occasion.
2020年欧冠赛程表“This is a historic monumental time in the history of Bethel to be still not just striving but thriving to make a lasting impact upon the lives of our community,” said the Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr., pastor of the church. “Bethel has been doing this now for 150 years. We feel it is time to really celebrate.”
The iconic structure and its members are described as a “national treasure” by James Mathews, chairman of the Deacons Ministry. Referencing Ephesians 2:20-22, which refers to the church as a unified body, he said, “We know through the scriptures, just how great the church has become over the last 150 years.”
This week’s activities include a salute to educators, a luncheon honoring octogenarians, nonagenarians and centenarians, and a three-day revival.
2020年欧冠赛程表With the theme, “Encouraged by the past, engaging the present, embracing the future,” Holmes sees the celebration as an opportunity to “strengthen the intergenerational ministry.”
2020年欧冠赛程表“Sunday is about education because founder Father (James) Page talked about the importance of education. He saw education as our passport through history, and empowerment was through education and entrepreneurship. Father Page started a school to teach people how to read,” Holmes said.
On Sunday at the 11 a.m. worship, educators in the congregation who have given 25 or more years of service will be honored. Still reflecting on the theme, Holmes said, “Education is a passport to prosperity and peace and a sense of purpose.”
“The church is one of the members of the faith-based community that takes the lead in socioeconomic issues and gives a voice to the voiceless,” said the Rev. Richard Mashburn, a retired Florida State University administrator. The octogenarian is an associate minister at the church and a retired military veteran. Mashburn further outlined how the church provided housing through Habitat for Humanity builds and donations to destitute families.
However, the church is most noted for being a beacon during the civil rights movement and, thus, Holmes sees the significance of the kickoff during February. “It is very sacred and significant to kick off the celebration during Black History Month because of how Bethel has played a pivotal role during the civil rights period.
Bethel has been blessed throughout the years to host noted activists, such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Joseph Lowery, the Rev. Al Sharpton and former Ambassador Andrew Young.
“Bethel has had the opportunity to see history unfold before them. In the coming months, we will be honoring persons from all walks of life,” Holmes said. Plans are to pay tribute to people who have made contributions in sports, government, medicine, business and media.
On Wednesday through Friday will be a noonday and evening revival by two ministers formerly of the church. The Rev. Al Williams II, pastor of New Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, will preach at noonday, and the Rev. Derrick Mercer, pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, will bring the evening message at 7 p.m. Guest musician will be Minister Gerald Clay of Mobile, Alabama.
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to participate in the sesquicentennial celebration,” said Williams, who was the minister for the Collegiate and Young Adult Ministry for five years. “The wisdom, guidance and opportunity afforded me to learn what is necessary to provide visionary pastoral leadership will forever be cherished. It is humbling to be woven into the beautiful fabric of Bethel's extraordinary legacy. Many have come before us and with the providence and power of God I believe this unrivaled legacy will live on.”
After the noonday service on Wednesday will be a luncheon to recognize members 80 to 100 years old.
2020年欧冠赛程表“It’s a wonderful thing and people are growing older now, and their membership is lasting longer,” said Clinita Ford, a nonagenarian and widow of three-term Tallahassee mayor James Ford.
2020年欧冠赛程表“We are honoring seniors who have had and still are strong and vibrant and vital to our culture and history of Bethel,” Holmes said. “To have this number of people speaks to the past, present and future. Black history teaches us to honor, respect and adore our seniors.”
The celebration will culminate in October during the church’s anniversary.
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