Tennile Methodist Church celebrates 100 years next week

Published 3:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

The 100th Anniversary of Tennille Methodist Church will be celebrated on Sept. 26 and 27 at the church in downtown Tennille. All the friends of the historic church are invited to attend the celebration events on Saturday and Sunday.

Freddie Turner, church treasurer, said the celebration will get underway at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 with a gospel singing featuring The Old Southern Gospel, Beauty for Ashes, The Benton Brothers and Company and The Lighthouse Singers.

“We’re going to have a great afternoon of gospel singing and outdoor fun,” Turner said. “Don Renfroe will be here with his mule and wagon and will give rides to children and adults, too. We’ll have old-time games for everybody to play. There will be a display of quilts at Carrie Holder’s house and we’ll have our church cookbooks for sale.”

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Turner said those who attend are encouraged to wear period clothing from any of the 10 decades of Tennille Church.

On Sunday, the worship service will begin at 11 a.m. The church pastor, the Rev. Jim Powell, will deliver the celebration message. After the morning service, everyone will be invited to stay for a covered dish luncheon and an old-time congregational gospel singing afterwards.

Turner said Tennille Methodist Church was loosely organized in 1912 and it took three years to build the church.

“Until the church was built, people were meeting in the Tennille Schoolhouse and at neighbors’ houses,” he said. “It took a while to build the church because the trees had to be cut down and dragged out with a mule or an ox. The logs were cut at the sawmill on Tennille Mill Creek and brought to the church site. It was a well-built church because it’s still standing today as Tennille United Methodist Church.”

Tennille Methodist Church has 42 members but an average attendance of 80-plus at its Sunday services.

“Back when I started going to Tennille Methodist Church, we had, at the most, eight people in church,” Turner said. “On cold days, we’d pull a table up next to the heater and sit around the table to hold the service.”

Turner said the late Carrie Holder would bring pimento cheese sandwiches to share after the worship service and the late Betty Pryor would bring hot egg custard.

“That’s how we got started having our fellowship lunches after every Sunday service,” Turner said. “I just praise the Lord for Tennille Church and all that it means to me and to everybody that goes there. I get a blessing just walking through the door.”

Turner said everyone is invited to attend the 100th anniversary celebration of Tennille United Methodist Church on Sept. 26 and 27.