First Baptist Church of Greenville will celebrate 180 years of ministry at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday, September 18 with a service of worship and celebration. The theme is “Treasuring the Past – Celebrating the Future.” The public is invited to attend.
The Rev. Paul H. Gibson, Executive Minister of the Great Rivers Region, will bring the message, and his wife, Melissa Gibson, will share special music. Several historical items will be on display prior to Sunday School and worship. The Rev. Muriel L. Johnson, Regional Associate Minister for the Great Rivers Region will also participate in the festivities.
A celebration luncheon will commence at 12:00 p.m. An anniversary concert at 1:00 p.m. will feature Norm and the Nomads. Both events will take place in the church’s fellowship hall. Copies of “Blessings from the Table,” a new church cookbook, will be available for purchase at $10 each.
Following the concert, there will be a dedication service for the newly remodeled church kitchen, fellowship hall, and community outreach center. At approximately 2:15 p.m. attendees will retire outside (weather permitting) for a blessing of the land for the Vine Avenue property which the church acquired recently, new landscaping, as well as a dedication for new signage on the education building.
First Baptist Church of Greenville was founded in 1836. The church has had three houses of worship since then. The first church building was erected in 1854 and located on West Main Street. When the congregation outgrew that building, a new church was built at the current location of 218 E. South Avenue in 1902. That church burned in 1951. The current brick structure was dedicated in 1952. An all-brick parsonage was completed and dedicated west of the church in 1954. An education building was added to the current church building in 1969. In 2011 facilities were made handicap accessible.
Rev. David S. Bilyeu has served as the church’s spiritual leader for the past four years.
First Baptist Church is located at 218 E. South Avenue. For more information call (618) 664-1062.