Smiths Station church celebrates 95 years
Sept. 28, 2017
By Denise DuBois
Smiths Station Baptist Church has been in the same location for 95 years. It took 44 members, a charter with the Alabama Secretary of State, and $600 for the lot, and the church was started. In its organizational year of 1922, the members met in the community school. It wasn’t until the following year that a wooden frame church with European stained-glass windows was erected in what is now the church’s parking lot. In 1954, an educational space was added and it wasn’t until 1958 that the current church was built and dedicated. Over the years, more educational space was added, but was the attendance of people who came through the doors.
On Sunday, the pews were full of people who wanted to celebrate the church’s 95th anniversary. Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland gave a proclamation to the church and Rev. Allen Atkins, a former pastor at Smiths Station Baptist, gave the message.
“We had a wonderful blend of music in our worship service and we had the senior adult choir sing,” said Senior Pastor Dr. David Kees. Kees came to Smiths Station Baptist five years ago. “The greatest thing we’ve seen is the spiritual growth in the people here.”
The worship music has changed a bit, too, as it’s more blended.
But even through all the renovations of the church over its 95-year history - adding a student building, a children’s education building and even renovating the sanctuary to seat nearly 700 people - the people are what make the church what it is.
Kees said they are more missions-minded. There are opportunities for church members to connect with the community through the food pantry, student and children’s ministry, a hospital ministry and even a world-wide mission. There are families who are members of the church who are in Thailand and who have been to Peru, Guatemala and Colombia.
“There are a lot of new ministry opportunities that have come up over the last few years,” Kees said. “One thing that’s happened is that we built the student ministry building. That’s opened the door to reach so many people.”
One way the church reaches students is through Fifth Quarter, a free event open to seventh through 12th graders immediately after Smiths Station football games. The next event is Oct. 13 and there will be pizza and Bryan Barrineau, a former Clemson Tiger, will speak.
Another big change the church has undergone in its history is having a full-time church staff. Kees said it has been a blessing to have a cohesive staff.
Through its history, the church has been a beacon for the community to grow in its walk with the Lord and share the news of the gospel for 95 years and counting.