Park Memorial celebrates 50th anniversary

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2002

Features Editor

A church that is still experiencing growing pains on its 50th anniversary is undoubtedly doing something right.

Park Memorial United Methodist Church of Troy is doing something, and the growth it has experienced since its ministry began Jan. 20, 1952 has been remarkable.

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The church that began in a canning plant building with a small group of believers, today has a membership of about 625.

On Sunday, Jan. 20, Park Memorial will celebrate its golden anniversary with a special morning service, a fellowship dinner and afternoon activities.

Bishop Larry Goodpastor will be the featured speaker at the 11 a.m. service and former pastors have been invited to be a part of this special day of the church.

"We are proud of the growth our church has experience in all phases," said Dot Long. "We will celebrate the continuing growth of our church on Sunday afternoon, hopefully, with a ground breaking ceremony for our new family life center."

New church directories will be available Sunday that chronicle the history of the church over its first half century.

Any time there is a church anniversary of such significance, Long said it is interesting to look back at the "firsts" of the church.

At Park Memorial, the first pastor was the Rev. William Griggs, a student at Troy State. The first Sunday school superintendent was A. L. Jackson. The first person received by profession of faith was Mrs. Bob Smith. The first treasurer was Ed Revill. Bill Turley was the first music director and Doug Newsome was the first pianist.

The Women’s Society of Christian Service was organized on Oct. 19, 1952 under the guidance of Lora Mae Talley. Margaret Price was the first president.

Park Memorial’s first homecoming was held on Nov. 18, 1962 and its first organ was dedicated On April 24, 1977 as a memorial to Ray Brock.

Some members of Park Memorial will remember many of the former pastors. Some will remember only a few of them; some none.

But, Long said, it is good to look back and remember those who affected the lives of the congregation of Park Memorial including pastors, Leo Brannon, Thomas Sowell, P.A. Lynch, Ray Lane, Bill Rhoads, Joe Bates, Bob Cruikshank, Rayburn Waller, Perry Dalton, Gerald Maddox, Jim Posey, James A. Belcher, William Parsons and Bill Leavins.

The Rev. Steve Rascoe came as pastor in June 1994 and Long said, during his seven years of leadership, the church has continued to grow, both in number and spiritually.

Long said all members of the Park Memorial family and friends are encouraged to celebrate this blessed occasion in the life of the church together on Sunday.