Sardis Association annual meeting ‘old school’ with special traditions

Sardis Association annual meeting ‘old school’ with special traditions

James Preachers says that way down south in Sardis Baptist Association, they have some traditions that they love.

At annual meetings, they’re “old school,” he said. They love big, homestyle dinners with two different kinds of fried okra.

“That’s a big hit always,” he said.

But not only that — they love hearing all the reports.

One of those reports is given every year by Lonette Berg — who, thanks to the hospitality of Sardis Association, now has a tradition of her own.

“My husband, Steve, and I go to the annual meeting there every year to celebrate our anniversary,” she said.

They didn’t really start that tradition on purpose. Six years ago the association’s annual meeting happened to fall on Oct. 11, the 25th wedding anniversary of Berg — executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission — and her husband.

“I needed to be there to give my report that night, and he said, ‘I’ll go with you,’ and he took a vacation day and we went down there,” Berg said.

Warm welcome

When they got there, they found a warm welcome. Everyone sang “happy anniversary” to them. Other speakers mentioned them from the pulpit. Another entity head recited a poem for them.

“Steve had such a good time that he decided to go back the next year,” Berg said. “They are such sweet, welcoming and encouraging people.”

Preachers said they love the Bergs.

“Lonette is very passionate about preserving church history, and she’s dynamic in her role,” he said. “When she gets up to speak, her demeanor is so contagious. She brightens things up when she gets on stage.”

One year, Sardis Association even made Steve Berg the AV man for the meeting, she said.

Sixth year

This year on Oct. 12 was their sixth time to celebrate with Sardis Association, then they headed on to Disney World.
But not before the okra.

“They make some of it cooked down to a mash — that’s the way I grew up eating it,” Berg said. “It’s wonderful.” (Grace Thornton)