Today is Sunday, July 23, 2017

Barton's Creek Baptist celebrates 160 years

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By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

Much has changed in the 160 years Barton’s Creek Baptist has been a congregation, and this Sunday the church will celebrate those years of memories.

The church was organized on April 21, 1849 and first had services at the Clemmons School where they met until 1896.

That year the first church building was erected on the current property located on the corner of Bartons Creek Road and Old Shannon Road in Lebanon. Charles Weaver remembers attending services in that building. He started coming to Barton’s Creek with his grandparents in 1935.

He and Dot Reed, who joined Barton’s Creek in 1944, reminisced recently about the old church.

They recalled that at first it only had a large stone for a front step, but later the church members added a set of steps.

The benches weren’t as comfortable when Reed joined as a new bride.

“They had little slats,” Weaver said, showing the width, about 2 inches, with his fingers. “And if you sat wrong they pinched and let you know you’d better sit straight.

In fact it was where he met his wife, and with the help of the church, courted and married her.

“We had been going around together a little,” he said. “Cannie Leonard was the pastor here then and he told me she was the wife for me. He was right, we’re still married.”

Entertainment has changed over the years as well. Reed remembers when dinner on the ground meant the food was spread out on a hay wagon. This Sunday the dinner will be catered and the ladies will only provide desserts.

And Weaver said when he was young the deacons wouldn’t allow any guitars or fiddles in the church.

“If anyone would come up with a fiddle the deacons would stop them and tell them they better get on down the road,” Weaver said with a chuckle.

This Sunday promises to be an exciting service, with Brother W.L. Baker bringing the message. Baker, 100 and still preaching, served the church as interim pastor on three different occasions.

But he won’t be the only former pastor on the agenda. Brother Wendell Price, Brother Charles McKnight and Brother Billy DeVasher will also be speaking as will the current pastor, Brother Terry Cathey.

The former pastors will be recognized with a plaque with all the names on it which will be presented to the church by the deacons.

Several people will also be performing special music, including several returning music ministers who will also be recognized as part of the two services scheduled.

The first service will start at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m., then at 2 p.m. a second service will be held.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@wilsonpost.com.

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