Southside Baptist Church celebrates 72 years on Sunday

Published 9:32 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Southside Baptist Church is regarded as a “downhome” church filled with friendly, caring folks and that’s not surprising given its roots.

On a warm, September afternoon in 1910, twenty-six people met on the front porch of Thomas Daniels’ home in Troy and organized the Brundidge Street Sunday School.

“This church was about where the porch of Southside Baptist Church is located now,” said Billy Joe DeRamus, homecoming committee chair. “On Thursday evenings, prayer meetings were held at the Brundidge Street Chapel, as it was called, and attendance grew to 100 or more. By 1930, the attendance on Sunday was nearly 200.”

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On Sunday, Feb. 1, Southside Baptist Church will celebrate its 72nd homecoming and pay tribute to those who have severed their Lord and Savior though the ministry of the church.

The homecoming service will be at 10:50 a.m. with the Rev. Chase Clower, former youth pastor, as guest speaker. Special music will be presented by Lowell Carter and a shared lunch will follow in the fellowship hall.

The Rev. Bo Weed, church pastor, said homecomings remind people where they’ve come from and what God has done for them.

“Homecoming is a time for us to celebrate the past and encourage each other to work for the future,” Weed said. “What we are doing today will benefit the church 50 years from now. To me, that’s the most appointed thing of a church homecoming.”

Homecoming is also a time of meaningful fellowship.

“We will have dinner in our new fellowship hall and that will be added excitement for this year,” Weed said. “It’s always good to hang around and any time that we spend together with brothers and sisters in Christ is good.”

Weed said he is looking forward to having Chase Clower fill the pulpit on Sunday.

“Chase was a member of Southside and gave his life to Christ here,” Weed said. “He was called to the ministry and is now the pastor of Henderson Baptist Church. Chase is a young pastor who represents the future of the church. Lowell Carter was the minister of music at Southside for 20 years. So, we’ll have a glimpse of the past as well as the hope for the future.”

DeRamus said the front porch group that organized Brundidge Street Sunday School almost 99 years ago had hope for the future and that hope was realized in the establishment of the Brundidge Street Chapel, which was organized into a church on Feb. 7, 1937 and chose the name “Southside Baptist Church.”

“The church building had a small room in front as a classroom for children,” DeRamus said. “The building was located on the northwest corner of the present property. Within a month’s time of the organization of the new church, deacons were ordained, a Women’s Missionary Union was started and a revival had been conducted.”

In 1939, the vacant lot between the Daniels’ home and the church was given to the church and eventually the building was moved to the center of the lot and two classrooms were added to the back. In 1942, the “Gillis home” was acquired for the pastorium.

“It was during that time that Southside helped start a mission church on Highway 231 that became Bush Memorial Baptist Church in 1952,” DeRamus said. “In 1957 the church participated in surveying the Troy area to see if a new church was needed and found a need existed in the Trojan Terrance-Orion Street area.”

“A Sunday school that started on Orion Street later expanded into preaching services.”

“A year later, the meeting place moved to a larger building and it was organized into the Calvary Baptist Church in June 1959.”

“So, the little church that began as a mission on the front porch of Thomas Daniels’ home in 1910 had helped start two mission churches within its first 50 years.”