Northside Baptist works in Pecosin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Features Editor

Dec. 5, 2000 10 PM

One good turn deserves another.

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The members of Northside Baptist Church believe that, and they are committed to it.

Back in 1946, they were the recipient of a good turn and, when the opportunity came for their church to do a good turn, they didn’t hesitate.

Northside Baptist Church was founded as a mission church by First Baptist Church of Troy.

The Rev. Clifford Matthews was a young boy when several very prominent members of First Baptist Church of Troy came driving up on their fancy cars and offered the people on the north side of town an opportunity for worship.

"They had seen a need for a church out in our community and they responded," Matthews said. "They were city people and we were country people but they were genuinely interested in us and made us feel very comfortable in their presence. Their interest made it possible for us to worship in our community and that opportunity brought many people to Christ. We will always be grateful that someone cared enough about us to show

us the way to salvation."

Now, Northside Baptist Church is showing the way to a community in the Pocosin area.

"We realized there was a need in that area just as their was a need in our area almost a half century ago," Matthews said. "About 76 percent of the 61 families and nearly 300 people in that community did not attend church on a regular basis. There was not a church close by and they just weren’t going out and finding a church that met their needs."

The membership of Northside Baptist Church saw an opportunity to return a good turn that had been done to them and they set about establishing a mission church in the Pocosin area.

They brought the community together for a family picnic and, then, they organized weekly Bible studies for adults and youths with Dorothy Tillery and Agnes Johnson as leaders. As more people became interested in learning more about the Bible, a second family picnic was planned.

"The community came together in a very special way," Matthews said. "About 70 people attended the first picnic. There were nearly 100 at the second one."

In August, a four-day tent revival was held in the Pocosin area and the spirit displayed there left little doubt that God was at work among the people of the Pocosins, said the Rev. James Felton.

When it was evident that a "church" had been formed in the Pocosins, the Alabama Baptist Association gave support to the mission project.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, only 262 days after the seeds were planted, the Pocosin Baptist Church was dedicated.

Felton said through the Alabama Baptist Convention, the church was able to get a double-wide trailer in which to house the church and Ronnie and Melinda Plunkett supplied the lot.

"We are so grateful to have a building for our church," Felton said. "Because of the efforts and dedication of so many people, the Pocosin area now has a place where the people can go to worship. This is a real blessing from God."

Matthews and Felton will serve the church as co-pastors and the church will hold a Sunday morning worship service and continue with the weekly Bible studies.

"We believe the church here in the Pocosin area will grow just as Northside has grown," Matthews said. "There was a real need for a church here and its purpose will be fulfilled. We are so grateful and so blessed to be standing here today and dedicating a church that will mean so much to so many over the coming years."