While the area is dotted with churches, some new, and some that have been around for quite some time, Haymore Memorial Baptist Church will be celebrating a landmark anniversary — its 100th — this weekend.
Special singing and preaching is slated for Saturday and Sunday at the church located at 319 Rockford St.
Church member Betty Wright headed up the committee which gathered the history of the church. It has been published as a book that will be on sale during the celebration and beyond.
Wright said she was helped by Don Edmonds, Ann Draughn, Anne Holyfield and Carol Jean Moore, who served on the Centennial Celebration Committee. Moore wrote a special song, “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation,” about the celebration that will be sung during the Sunday services.
“They have worked so well to put this celebration together,” said Wright of the committee.
On Saturday, Vessels of Clay will be singing during a fellowship celebration at 7 p.m. There will be a time of refreshments and fellowship following the singing.
On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., there will be a service which will feature former pastors the Rev. Ed Daniels and the Rev. Ed Burch. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Robert McCrary, also will speak during that service. The Rev. Wayne Trexler will be preaching the sermon that morning.
There will not be an early service or Sunday school that day. Following the service, there will be a covered-dish meal. The church will provide the meat, bread and drinks. Those who would like to attend are asked to bring a well-filled basket.
Wright, who has been a member of the church for 60 years, invites everyone who is a member, former members and members of the community to come out and enjoy the both services.
“I really want to impress people to come out and hear the Vessels of Clay on Saturday night and to come to the service on Sunday,” said Wright.
She said the 100-year celebration is something the church is honored to celebrate.
“One hundred years have been accumulating toward the excitement of this celebration. The present moment is a merger of our history and our future. Our commemoration is one of a shared journey renewal. We worship in our church that offers a sense of the mystery of God, a church that has equipped generations to bring the way of Jesus Christ into our life and world — and a church that awakes us to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration,” said Wright.
McCrary said the church began when God gave a vision to a group of Christians that led to the formation of a church.
“It started out as a mission and eventually it became known as Haymore Memorial Baptist Church. Since those humble beginnings so many years ago, Almighty God has been working through those who have been part of this great church family,” said McCrary.
In 1907, the Rev. J.E. Smith, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Mount Airy, realized the need for a mission in the southern section of town, as there was no ministry to people in that area. During a delay in remodeling at First Baptist the same year, he and his two sons with the help of the people of the area, began the foundation. Nearby residents furnished meals for the preacher and his sons and helped solicit funds to erect a building. The building, located on the corner of Price and Marshall streets, was completed in 1910, according to the church’s history.
The mission, named the “Worker’s Mission” became the ward of the First Baptist Church. Services were held each Sunday afternoon and were attended by people of various faiths, as they could attend their own churches in the morning.
One Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13, 1912, a congregation assembled at the mission for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church. They adopted the name “The Second Baptist Church” and 40 people presented themselves for membership. The church accepted the mission house and agreed to buy it April 13, 1913. The Rev. C.C. Haymore was called as the first pastor of the church and served until Nov. 17, 1918, when he resigned because of age and ill health.
On April 19, 1922, the church voted to build a new building that was built on the site of the Second Baptist parsonage on Rockford Street. This is the same building that houses the sanctuary and fellowship hall today.
On June 6, 1922, the name of the church was changed to Haymore Memorial Baptist Church in honor of its first pastor and his brother, Rufe Haymore, who donated $20,000 to the church.
McCrary said during the past 100 years, the church facilities have expanded, membership has grown and the programs and ministries have multiplied.
“One thing that has not changed is the sweet, sweet spirit that is present among this church family. This centennial ought to remind us that the time we spend together serving our Savior Jesus Christ is precious,” said McCrary.
For those who would like to purchase a copy of the history of Haymore Memorial Baptist Church, the price is $31.
For more information, call the church at 786-7435.
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.