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Old Lebanon Baptist Church

celebrates 150 years

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

Sept. 4, 2000 11 PM

Old Lebanon Baptist Church will celebrate its 150th anniversary with Homecoming 2000 Sept. 10, beginning with morning worship at 11 with the Rev. Joe Youngblood and a covered dish lunch immediately following.

Homecoming 2000 will also be the beginning of revival services which will be held nightly at 7:30 through Wednesday. Special music has been planned for all services.

All members, past and present, and friends of the church are invited to attend this special celebration.

Joanne Nunnelee, who is handling publicity for Homecoming 2000, said Lebanon Baptist Church was organized Oct. 20, 1850 by Elder A.N. Worthy and assisted by Elder J.T. Park.

"The historical information that we have about our church was researched and complied by the late Miriam Kelly and we appreciate the work that she did to make this history available to us," Nunnelee said. "And, we also appreciate May Williams for condensing this work for us to use during Homecoming 2000."

According to Kelly’s research, the first church building was a small log cabin. The second building, a wooden frame structure, was sold to W.F. Nunnelee when the church moved to a new site. The lumber was used to build a barn.

When the church returned to its present site, a third building was needed. Brother J. R. Caldwell, the pastor and sawmill operator, had a leading part in the erection of the new building. His wife gave the two pulpit chairs that are being used and enjoyed today.

"According to Mrs. Kelly, Brother Caldwell was the grandfather of some of our present members. He was loved and remembered for his leadership of our church," Nunnelee said.

Under the leadership of Rev. R.T. McLoud, the present sanctuary was completed in the spring of 1948. G.W. Youngblood served as chairman of the building committee.

"At the time of this church dedication, the membership felt both pride and humility in the erection of this house of worship," Nunnelee said.

There are few records of Sunday school at Old Lebanon but Kelly found records that indicate a Sunday school as early as 1909-10 with a roll of about

25. Attendance was not regular. The next record of Sunday school was Aug. 1929 to Jan. 1930.

"In looking over the old church roll, Mrs. Kelly found that there were black members of Lebanon Church and we know that slaves were buried in the cemetery," Nunnelee said. "It is also interesting that, in our early history, two members were excluded for such reasons as non-attendance, heresy and gossip. No excommunications have been recorded since 1899."

Nunnelee said one of the greatest privileges of a Baptist church is that of ordaining men into the gospel ministry.

"This church is proud to claim the Rev. Joe Youngblood as our own," she said. Another point of interest is taken from an old edition of The Progressive Farmer. William D. Lundy, the oldest living Confederate veteran at that time, stated that he was born and reared seven miles northwest of Troy on Beamon Creek and he was a member of the church there.

"God has wonderfully blessed this church, and, in the words of Paul, grant that we continue to ‘press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,’" Kelly wrote.

The membership of Old Lebanon Baptist Church is continuing to press toward the mark and will celebrate the strides of the past 150 years and move forward into the 21st Century as they celebrate Homecoming 2000.

Old Lebanon Baptist Church is located on Kelly Road off Highway 231 north of Troy. The public is invited to attended these special services.