Mt. Moriah celebrates seasons of its life with homecoming

Published 10:44 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Rev. Mack Lowery, pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, describes Mt. Moriah as a typical country church with one exception.

“We actually have two churches,” Lowery said. “We have a summer church and a winter church.”

And before eyebrows were raised very far, Lowery explained.

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“During the summer, our congregation is made up of home folks,” he said. “But we are located just up the road from Deer Run RV Park and, come November, the snowbirds come down to winter at the park. They come from north Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and even as far away as Maine. Many of them have found their way to Mt. Moriah. It’s real treat for us to have people from all around the northern part of our country in our congregation for the winter months. We’d made a lot of friends and we look forward to winter because it means that our snowbirds will be coming back.”

Lowery said the Mt. Moriah congregation stays in touch with the snowbirds during the summer season and looks forward to having them back in the late fall.

“This is about the fifth year that the snowbirds have been coming to Mt. Moriah, and they support the church and its programs even when they return home,” he said. “We are proud to have them worship with us, and we are blessed to be two churches in one.”

But it will be the Mt. Moriah Baptist Summer Church that holds revival services July 19-22 with the Rev. Clifford Matthews, a former pastor, as the guest minister.

Revival services will be at 10 a.m. on July 19 and at 7 p.m. July 20-22, and everyone is invited.

The congregation at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church knows that it is richly blessed.

The church was constituted on Sept. 18, 1868, under a brush arbor in northwest Pike County. The first place of meeting was two miles northwest of the present church on County Road 1111.

The first seats were heavy boards laid across logs. The church was of the Missionary Baptist persuasion and included 14 charter members.

The brush arbor was used as a meeting place until 1889 when the group met in a nearby frame building. The church was then moved to the present site and held services in a building owned by Fannie Duncan, which the church purchased for 10 dollars at a time. A building committee was appointed and a new building was constructed on an acre of land donated by W.P. Linzey.

In 1916, the first homecoming was held and, since that time, it has been an annual occurrence.

Now, 93 years later, summer revival services will be celebrated with the same worshipful spirit as on that first homecoming.

Over the years, the membership has worked hard to make Mt. Moriah a place of glory to God, said Mary Mitchell, church treasurer.

“In the last few years, many improvements have been made including a fellowship hall and vinyl siding on the church building, a baptistery, new flooring, carpet and lighting in the sanctuary,” Mitchell said. “We also have a baby grand piano that adds so much to our services.”

Three editions of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church “Heavenly Delights” cookbook have helped to fund the improvements to the church. But many of the supplies and much of the work has been done by the members who love the Lord and love the little county church where they go to worship Him.

“We are all very proud of our church,” Mitchell said. “We are going to continue to grow and we invite everyone to come and worship with us during our summer revival services and all through the year.”