Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Fellowship Baptist Church of Chickamauga is getting ready to celebrate its 70th anniversary and homecoming celebration July 8 and is reaching out to the community for pictures and history on the church.
The day of the anniversary celebration, church members invite all former staff and members of the community to recall the past 70 years of the church’s history through historical items and a timeline that will be on display, created especially for the celebration.
“We need to examine our roots and look at where we’ve been,” said Fellowship Baptist Church librarian Cristal Whitlock.
The church was founded in the summer of 1942 by a small group who met in a tent at Crawfish Springs. The group formed Fellowship Baptist Church and began to meet in a tent where the present-day Chickamauga City Hall is located until the sanctuary was built on Thomas Avenue in the late 1940s. With the formation followed the growth of its congregation and worship space, and over the years several additions and changes were made to the church. As the church grew over time, educational areas were added and church membership continued to climb.
“Looking at the past gives us an idea of where we need to go in the future,” Whitlock said.
Today the church currently has close to 300 members. Two of those members are original charter members from 1942: Flonnie Ayers and Hazel Brock, both Chickamauga residents who will be recognized at the event.
Whitlock said the Rev. Reynolds said it best: “The word family best describes the membership of the Fellowship Baptist Church. Each week our family gathers for Bible study, worship, discipleship, prayer and fellowship. There is a special bond of love here, as there is in any family.”
“We’re the church that cares, and that’s really true,” member Bobbi Abernathy said. “They look after you when you’re sick. They are there when you need them.”
Fellowship Baptist will also commemorate its history with a 70th anniversary cookbook. The spiral-bound hardback book will be sold for $10 and includes 500 recipes submitted by members of the church.
Abernathy said there is an abundance of wonderful cooks and joked that guests should wear loose clothes to the July 8 event.
Some of the wanted recipes include: Bertha’s Banana Pudding, Calvin Foster’s Sweet Potato Cobbler and Jean Swanson’s Teacakes. Abernathy said members have had almost 40 inquiries so far about the cookbooks.
The event will begin with a church service at 10:30 a.m. that Sunday. Dr. Warren Moorhead will be the speaker. Music will be performed by Brent Jennings and The Fellowship Baptist Choir.