At 11 a.m. on Sept. 26, West Bend Baptist Church, Coffeeville, rang its old church bell to call everyone to worship and to celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary.
Butch Sparks — a pastor who grew up at West Bend Baptist — was the guest speaker for the special service. Jerrol Hare of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission presented a certificate to Pastor Irby Weaver and Balance Starks, the church’s oldest living member. Mark Presswood, director of missions for Clarke Baptist Association, attended, and Al Dykeman, the church’s former pastor, was recognized in the service and led in prayer.
A history of the church called “The Rest of the Story” was written by Alisa Moss and presented prior to the service by her, Bill Taylor, Vic Stringer, Beth James, Ross Thomas and Blanche Starks.
Mac Moss, music director, led the congregation in singing hymns from the late 1800s.
Church artifacts including the constitution, original deed, minutes from the 1800s, the original pulpit and original lighting were displayed in the fellowship hall.
“The celebration was smaller than originally planned, but it was still wonderful,” Alisa Moss said. “There was a moving spirit among the people.”