Saturday, June 28, 2008

Valentine Banquet, 1956

In 1956, the church held a Valentine Banquet with the theme "P.S. I love you." The speaker for the evening was Rev. James Manley and the pianist was Eunice Rice.

If you want to see the images individually click on the slideshow. You will be taken to another page. Look for the blue link on the left with the words "view album." Click there and each images can be clicked to view individually.

Under Construction: Whitmire Activities Center

If you want to view the images individually click on the slideshow. You will be taken to another page where you will see the words "view album" in blue. Click there and you can see each image. Click on each image for a closer view.

FBCLS: 41st Anniversary

The above article appeared in the Douglas County Sentinel on Thursday, March 19, 1987. Highlights from the article include:

*On the last Sunday in March FBCLS’s congregation was able to hold services in the new 800-seat sanctuary and were looking forward to the 41st anniversary on April 7th.

*The article mentions the membership at the time stood at 1,600 and due to their pledges of $1.2 million the new sanctuary had been been. It took a period of three years to building the 30,000 foot complex which also holds church offices, a choir complex, and several Sunday School classrooms.

*Dr. Robert Whitmire, pastor of FBCLS at the time the article was published stated, “It became apparent that First Baptist Church was destined to building something that could not be explained in human terms. This church is a testimony that could only be built through the Holy Spirit.”

*The article mentions the Building Together With Love campaign that funded the building program actually began in 1946 when a few Lithia Springs residents led by the Holy Spirit began to build a downtown church.

*The original land for the church was donated by Glenn Florence. The article states that rocks were hauled onto the site from as far away as Lithonia, Georgia for the foundation and basement level.

*In order to provide a proper building for worship ladies of the church during the latter part of the 1940s pledged not buy new clothes, but to give their money instead to the new sanctuary. The article goes on to state there was a little bit of a scandal when one lady dared to show up at church with a new collar on her dress….all was forgiven when it was realized she had simply remade an old dress..

*The article recounts the tragic fire of 1949 that destroyed the first sanctuary everyone had worked so hard to build. By expanding their dream, enduring more sacrifices, and through a donation of additional land from Glen Florence the sanctuary was finally rebuilt.

*Ray and Bessie Mae Sinyard are also pictured with the Sentinel article. They were the first couple to be married by FBCLS pastor Arnold Patterson and at the time the article was published Mr. Sinyard was the only living deacon of the first seven to lead the church.

First Baseball Team: 1956

This image was provided by Ron Couch for scanning.

Back row (left to right): Terry Gamel, Thomas Norton, Ronny Rainwater, Phillip Tinsley, Larry Butler, Ronald Couch

Third row (left to right): J.P. Leavell, Roy Frank Jordan

Second row (left to right): Wayne Vickery, Bennie Leavell, Bill Kerley, Bob Landrum, Ralph Jackson, Jones Bennett, Home Shackleford

First row (left to right): Jack Sinyard, Gilbert Rainwater, David Camp, Jack McNair, Tracy Smith, Mikey Shackleford

Click on the image for a larger view...

Steeple Raising: 1985

When the steeple was finally raised over the new sanctuary building Dr. Robert (Dr. Bob) Whitmire had the honor of placing the cross atop the structure.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The History of First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs: the 1970s

This is part four of a church history written by Irene Leavell and Vivian Cranford, members of FBCLS. Part one can be found here. Part two can be found here. Part three can be found here.

The church occupied the new four-story annex in July of 1970. This includes two adult departments, two Junior departments, library, modern nursery with all facilities, activities area and kitchen. Pianos were bought for all departments, shelving for the library, new equipment for the kitchen. For the first time in the history of the church, there was adequate room. Supplies and equipment are still short in some departments, but are being added as fast as time and money permit.

The first kindergarten program was begun in the fall of 1970 under the able supervision of Mrs. Edna Gore and Mrs. Evelyn Harris. The program was a success from the very beginning and was self-sustaining. Another very successful ministry was begun in August of 1970. this is the Day Care Program under the direction of Mrs. Virginia Bryant. This program is for the children of working mothers from the age of three months to twelve years. This program provides planned recreation and learning experiences and includes hot, nourishing meals. It is providing a much needed service for the members and the community as a whole.

In October, 1971, the church called Rev. Harold Lefler as associate minister. He shares in the total ministry of the church, but has particular responsibility in the areas of music and youth.

There are now 934 members of this great church. It has not been easy, but the people, under the leadership of their two great pastors, have been “laborers together with God.” The future holds great promise and much hard work. There is a new building to fill to capacity and new programs to be launched.

Probably the greatest challenge is the mission to be built on property the church already owns on the Hiram-Lithia Road.

Lithia Springs First Baptist Church has been serving the cause of Christ at home and abroad for the past twenty-five years, and under God’s guidance, will continue to do so.

The History of First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs: the 1960s

This is part three of a chuch history written by Irene Leavell and Vivian Cranford, members of FBCLS. Part one can be found here. Part two can be found here.

In 1961, the auditorim was redecorated and air-conditioned. Also, a $25,000 pastorium was built. Mr. A.B. Craven supervised the work without cost. Many people contributed labor and materials. It is located on Cooper Street. A dedication service was held at the Sunday Morning Worship hour.

In November, 1962, the church elected a planning and survey committee to start a mission. Mr. J.P. Leavell was chairman of this committee. In February, 1963, the church acquired twelve acres for this purpose from “Mom and Dad” Long.

In January, 1965, F.M. Davis was called to be the Associate Pastor of the First Baptist Church and to direct the work of a new mission. On May 12, 1965, the first service was held with 300 people present. Rev. Wallace H. Preast was the first pastor of the church. On October 2, 1966, the mission was constituted as the Lithia Heights Baptist Church. In 1967, this church began a kindergarten ministry and has continued to grow in all its areas of work. At this time it has a new pastor, the Rev. Bernard Weaver. (Rev. Donald Phillips was pastor 1969-1970).

On April 7, 1968, twenty-two years from the beginning of the church, a Ground Breaking Service was held to dramatize a new building program. A new educational annex was planned to cost $200,000 which would double the value and space of the present building. Two of the original twelve members were now deceased, one was living on the west coast, but nine of the original and many other charter members attended. The church at this time had a membership of 842, a Sunday School enrollment of 788 and a Training Union with 350 members.

In 1968, the church purchased a home on Creel Drive for the Minister of Education and Music. Mr. J.W. Winchester and his famly moved here from Indiana to assume this position in the church. He made a marvelous contribution to the church, but is now [at the time of this writing] serving as Minister of Education at Mableton First Baptist Church and has recently been ordained as a minister.

The History of Lithia Springs First Baptist Church: the 1950s

This is part two of the church history written by Irene Leavell and Vivian Cranford, members of FBCLS. Part one can be found here.

After the disasterous fire of 1949 a second sanctuary building was completed in August, 1951. As soon as the auditorium was completed and dedicated, the educational building was started on a pay-as-you-go basis.

In November of 1952, the Rev. J.A. Patterson resigned as pastor of the Lithia Springs Church and accepted the call of the Midway Baptist Church. The building program was moving along and the membership increasing steadily. For several Sundays the church had visiting speakers. Dr. George Brown served briefly as interim pastor.

In May, 1953, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the church called the Rev. Marion Beaver as their new pastor. He had recently graduated from the Southern Seminary and moved here from Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, Ruth, and their son, Mark.

The church contined to outgrow its facilities and in 1955, a building fund campaign was inaugurated to try to accommodate the growth. The Sunday School enrollment had reached 506 compared to 346 in 1953! Every available foot of space was being utilized. The two-year nursery was housed in a stairwell with no window or ventilation. The primary department used another stairwell. The Beginner Department used the furnace room with only one outside door for ventilation. Juniors and Intermediates shared what was designed for one Adult Department. Adult classes met in the partititioned balcony in the auditorium. Some classes met outside if the weather was agreeable.

In spite of the tremendous physical handicaps, the church continued to grow in all its areas of work. At this time, Mrs. J.M. Williams was employed as part-time church secretary and Mrs. Eunice Rice as part-time minister of music. The missions program of the church was projected to adopt a missionary with the church paying $1000 of her salary. The Foreign Mission Board suggested the name of Mrs. Ray Shelton, Missionary to Uraguay, whom [at the time of this writing] we still support.

The church celebrated its 10th anniversary at special Easter services in 1956. The young church had grown in membership from 24 to 510 in a decade. The property was then valued at $85,000. This included the main building and the basement of the new educational building. The Sunday School now had nineteen classrooms, four in the auditorium, one in the corridor, two in the stairwells, one in the vestibule, and one in the pastor’s study. Two stories of the new educational building were finished in early 1958.

On April 27, 1958, there was a service of dedication and open house. Another day of dreams come true! The pastor wrote in the program that “Through these past few years, the shadow of a partially completed building has hung heavily over us. But today we rejoice that by the mercy of God, we see our building completed.” It was already being filled to capacity and a new challenge of a larger building to take care of increasing needs was presented. The enrollments at this time were:

Membership – 593
Sunday School – 578
Training Union – 228
W.M.S. and Auxiliary – 115
Brotherhood – 50
Budget - $34,888.00

The History of First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs: the 1940s

The following is part one of a history written by Irene Leavell and Vivian Cranford, members of FBCLS:

The Lithia Springs First Baptis Church was organized on April 7, 1946. It was no sponsored by any other Baptist church, but was born in the hearts of a small group of people who believed with all their soul that God was directing their thoughts and efforts. It was never a mission, and has always had a full-time program.

In February of 1946 a committee was appointed by Union Grove Baptist Church to look into the possibility of moving that church to the business area of Lithia Springs. Members of this committee were Mr. Tom Gore, Mr. Ed Ralls, Mr. L.T. Chandler, and Mr. I.C. Williams. The committee discovered that the James family had given the land for Union Grove Church only on condition that is be used as a church. If the church was moved or disbanded, the land would revert back to the [James] family. The committee’s report was presented to the church and the suggested move to Lithia Springs was not approved.

A small group of people still believed that God was leading them to establish a church at Lithia Springs. Mr. L.T. Chandler was instructed to ask Union Grove Church for the following church letters on March 16, 1946:

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Ralls
Mrs. Allene Ralls Wallace
Mr. and Mrs. I.C. Williams
Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Chandler, Sr.
Miss Ina Myra Chandler (Mrs. Jim Sinyard)
Miss Sara Maud Chandler (Mrs. Bob Bartlett)
Mr. Loy T. Chandler, Jr.
Mrs. Amy Copeland
Mrs. Milton Winn

These twelve people and other interested friends continued to pray, discuss and plan for the organization of a church. This was accomplished on April 7, 1946 in the auditorium of the present Annette Winn School (then the Lithia Elementary School).

The council for the organization of the church was composed of the following members:

Rev. Pat Johnson
Rev. J. Alfred Landers
Rev. G.W. Southard
Rev. J.H. Knight
Rev. S.T. Gilland
Rev. E.W. Glore
Rev. H.L. Folsom
Rev. C.W. Barnes
Rev. C.H. Lockridge
Rev. H.A. Walker
Rev. H.L. Holloway
Rev. D.T. Bice
Deacon H.V. Brannon
Deacon R.S. Abernathy
Deacon H.C. Moore
Deacon R.D. Clay
Deacon Leo Sweat

These ministers and deacons represented the following churches:

First Baptist Church of Douglasville
Mt. Harmony Baptist Church
Mableton Baptist Church
Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church
Community Grove Baptist Church
Pray’s Mill Baptist Church
Austell Baptist Church
Union Grove Baptist Church
County Line Baptist Church
Clarkdale Baptist Church

Rev. Pat Johnson, former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Douglasville, served as moderator. He also preached the organizational sermon. Rev. Arnold Patterson, Associational Director of the Training Union, was elected pastor of the new church.

Following the organizational sermon (April 7, 1946), nine people joined the new church. They were:

Mrs. Ed Brawner
Mrs. Edna Epps
Mrs. Hilma McGouirk
Mr. Paul Ogle
Mrs. Paul Ogle
Mr. J.B. Cochran
Miss Eva Stokely
Mrs. Paul Aiken
Master Douglas Aiken

The congregants of the new church met that night to elect officers for the church, Sunday School, and Training Union. Before the election, another chance was given for new membership, and the following people joined:

Mrs. Jewell Brown (Morris)
Mrs. Virginia Cochran
Miss Gleda Brown (Mrs. Ed James)

Officers, teachers, and leaders elected were as follows:

Church Clerk – Miss Eva Stokely
Church Treasurer – Mr. I.C. Williams
Church Choirster – Mr. J.A. Patterson
Church Pianist – Mrs. J.A. Patterson
Sunday School Secretary – Mrs. Milton Winn
Sunday School Superintendent – Mr. L.T. Chandler
Assistant Sunday School Superintendant – Mr. Paul Ogle

The following were elected as teachers:

Men’s Bible class – Mr. E.W. Ralls
Women’s Bible class – Miss Amy Copeland
Young People’s class – Mrs. L.T. Chandler
Intermediate class – Mrs. Paul Ogle
Junior class – Mr. I.C. Williams
Primary class I – Mrs. E.W. Ralls
Primary class II – Mrs. Jewell Brown

Evangelism (Soul Winning) – Mrs. Jewell Brown
Study Course Training – Mrs. Paul Aiken
Enlargement (Census) – Mrs. Paul Ogle

The following held positions with the Baptist Training Union:

Director – Mrs. J.B. Cochran
Associate Director – Mrs. I.C. Williams
Secretary and Treasurer – Miss Gleda Brown
Adult Leader – Mrs. Edna Epps
Young People’s Leader – Mrs. L.T. Chandler
Intermediate Leader – Mrs. Paul Ogle
Junior Leader – Miss Eva Stokely
Story Hour Leader – Mrs. E.W. Ralls

The following held positions on the Board of Trustees:

Chairman – Mr. E.W. Ralls
Co-Chairman – Mr. I.C. Williams
Member – Mr. Paul Ogle
Member – Mr. L.T. Chandler

The following were appointed as members of the Building Committee:

Chairman – Mr. Ed Brawner
Co-Chairman – Mr. I.C. Williams
Member – Mr. L.T. Chandler
Member – Mr. J.B. Cochran
Member – Mr. Paul Ogle

And the Finance Committee for the Building Fund was served by:

Chairman – Mrs. Ed Brawner
Co-Chairman – Mrs. Milton Winn
Treasurer – Mrs. Allene Ralls Wallace

At this first meeting finances were discussed and a budget plan approved. After a group of members pledged to tithe their income, it was unanimously voted to have services every Sunday. The group continued to meet in the school building until the basement of the first church was completed.

Mr. Glen Florence donated to the church a building lot and plans were immediately put in motion to raise funds and begin the building. At the conclusion of the first year, the basement of the building was completed. Services were held in the basement until the auditorium was ready.

From the Sentinel of May 17, 1946, the organization of the W.M.U. is described as follows: The women of the new church met Tuesday, May 14th at the home of Mrs. A. R. DuBard for the purpose of organizing a Women’s Missionary Society. Those elected to serve were: Mrs. A.R. Dubard, President; Mrs. I.C. Williams, First Vice President; Mrs. J.A. Patterson, Second Vice President; Mrs. L.T. Chandler, Young People’s Leader; Mrs. J.B. Cochran, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Ed Brawner, Corresonding Secretary; Mr. E.W. Ralls, Treasurer; Mrs. C.L. Brown, Mission Study; Mrs. Paul Ogle, Community Missions; Mrs. F.B. Stephens, White Cross; Mrs. Milt Winn, Choirster; and Mrs. Amy Copeland, Stewardship and Special Mission and Program Chairman.

Soon after the church was organized, the pastor saw the need for ordaining deacons. They were selected and the following men were ordained at the Austell Baptist Church on October 6, 1946: Mr. E.W. Ralls, Mr. I.C. Williams, and Mr. L.T. Chandler were ordained as Senior Deacons and Mr. L.T. Chandler, Jr. and Mr. L.R. Sinyard were ordained as Junior Deacons. Mr. H. V. Brannon had been ordained by another church, and was approved as a Senior Deacon for the Lithia Springs Baptist Church.

The church continued to grow for the people had a mind to work. There was much to be done on two fronts. The first front involved the physical plant in that an adequate building to take care of present and future growth. Second, and simultaneously, the Kingdom of God must be built in the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls. Workers must be trained to carry on all the various organizations a Baptist Church needs in order to function adequately.

Much of the work of the first building was done by the members themselves. On many occaisions the men and boys worked on Saturdays and the women provided a picnic lunch. Also, many nights the lights burned late as the men worked after having spent long hours on their regular jobs. The labor of love was richly rewarded. On October 23, 1949 the $62,000 building was dedicated to the glory of God.

The theme of the dedication was “A Dream Come True.” All the regular Sunday services were held using all the new equipment and filling all the spaces available. Rev. W.A. Anderson of the state Baptist Sunday School was the speaker for the morning service. Julian P. Snyder of the state Training Union Department was the evening speaker. Following the morning service, a basket lunch was enjoyed. In the afternoon there was congregational singing and a message of dedication by Rev. Pat Johnson, pastor of the Douglasville First Baptist Church.

The dedication was to be followed by a week long revival. On Friday night, October 28, 1949, as the congregation gathered for the evening services, they watched horror-stricken as the new building that represented as many hours of labor and great financial sacrifice burned to the ground. The fire was believed to have been caused by a faulty gas heating system. Fire-fighting equipment was called from adjacent towns and a bucket brigade was formed, but their efforts were hampered by the town’s lack of a water system. All equipment including a new grand piano, new white pine pews, carpeting, four pianos in the Sunday School departments, all chairs, heaters, and much more were destroyed.

It was well the church had a firm foundation because it went from a mountain-top experiences of exaltation to the valley of despair in five short days. It was in the testing time that the real church emerged to build again an even larger, stronger organization, with more facilities to proclaim God’s love in the community.

Three days after the disasterous fire a meeting was called to discuss plans for the future. From that time on, every effort was put forth in raising funds and devising plans for another building. Surrounding churches offered their facilities, a store building, the Scout Hut, and private homes were used on a temporary basis. Later meetings were held in the school until the present auditorium was completed in August, 1951.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

FBCLS 19th Anniversary

The article pictured here was published in the Douglas County Sentinel on Thursday, April 15, 1965. Church history is recounted in the article along with pictures of the sanctuary building as it appeared in 1965 as well as a picture of Lithia Heights Baptist Church. Lithia Heights was begun as a mission for FBCLS.

The article states the mission was started in 1964 and is located at Sweetwater and Miller Streets. The mission/church would be ready for occupancy in May, 1965.

At the time not only did FBCLS support the mission at Lithia Heights it also supported Mrs. Ray Shelton, a missionary in Uraguay.

You can click on the newspaper clipping to get slightly closer view.

Building Together in Love Brochure

The images for this slide show are timed to change every five seconds. If you would like to view each image seperately click on the slide show. Once you are taken to another page look for the link "view album" on the left side. Click it to see each image by itself.

Senior Adult Day, 1979

On February 5, 1950 the Sweetwater Baptist Church issued a Letter of Dismission for Mrs. Emma Lee Smith (Mrs. Harry Smith) so that she could join the fellowship at First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs.

On May 6, 1979 Mrs. Smith was recognized during the Senior Adult Day service and was presented a plaque and corsage. Mrs. Smith is pictured below with her husband Harry.

During her journey Christian service Mrs. Smith took various church study courses through the Sunday School Board of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Those courses include:

How to Witness
Witnessing Under Pressure
Basic Children’s Sunday School Work
Epheisians God’s New People
Reaching People Through Sunday School
Reaching Children Through Sunday School
Exodus Called for Redemptive Mission
Working in Sunday School
Rivers of Ink
Helping Teachers Teach
Stronger Than Mushrooms
Messages From First Century Christians
Colossians Christ Above All
The Life and Ministry of Our Lord
Guilding Children
New Drums Over Africa
Administering a Vacation Bible School
A Dynamic Church
Israel’s Period of Progress
The Letter of James

It should be no surprise then that Mr. Emma Lee Smith earned an Advanced Christian Development diploma in November, 1981 and a Master Christian Development Diploma in September, 1986.

Start to Finish: The Playground

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Celebrating Twenty Years of Ministry

On September 12, 1999 the church celebrated Dr. Robert Whitmire’s twentieth anniversary of the beginning of his ministry. The image to the left is the cover of a brochure and Order of Service (image is futher down in the post) that was handed out at the service. Pictured with “Dr. Bob” are his wife, Roxann, and their two sons, Rob and Ryan.

The brochure also included a timeline of Dr. Bob’s service with First Baptist of Lithia Springs. The timeline is presented below.

Twenty Years of Dedicated Ministry

1979-Bob and Roxann begin their ministry at First Baptist. Joan Mercer begins as Pastor’s Secretary.

1980-Guy Wilson begins as Minister of Music; Record Sunday School attendance (582) in October, Church letter reports 45 for baptism, 70 by letter, and 1348 church members and $256,573 in offerings.

1981-Jay Vineyard serves as Summer Intern; Crowded sanctuary prompts plans for a new sanctuary. Church letter reports 19 for baptism, 64 by letter, 1381 church members and $278,772 in offerings.

1982-Deacon Family Ministry begins; Record Sunday School attendance (638) in April; Christian Aid Center established. Church letter reports 59 for baptism, 48 by letter, 1424 church members and $330,832 in offerings.

1983-Together We Build receives commitments of $505,000 towards a new sanctuary; Record Sunday School attendance (734) in March; Calvin Quinn serves as Summer Intern; Teresa Barnes begins as general office help; Liz Dinning comes as Financial Secretary; Mike Sinyard comes as Associate Pastor/Education in November. Church letter reports 46 for baptism, 47 by letter, 1450 church members and $410,925 in offerings.

1984-Record Sunday School attendance (751) in April; Morgan Green serves as Summer Intern; Steeple raising on new sanctuary in December. Church letter reports 41 for baptism, 51 by letter, 1485 church members, and $538,799 in offerings.

1985-First Masterlife group begins; Pastor travels to Holy Land; Calvin Quinn serves as Summer Intern; Buildings named in honor of former pastors J. Arnold Patterson and Marion H. Beaver; Betty Spencer begins as CDC (Child Development Center) Director; Building Together in Love receives commitments of $1.2 million. Church letter reports 28 for baptism, 51 by letter, 1487 church members, and $655,002 in offerings.

1986-Church Vocation Scholarship Fund established; Ron King comes as Associate Pastor/Youth in February; Dedication of New Sanctuary in April; The Jewell Room is named for Jewell Patterson, first pastor’s wife; Record Sunday School attendance (762) in March. Church letter reports 39 for baptism, 84 by letter, 1551 church members and $812,723 in offerings.

1987-Chuck Frazier begins as Associate Pastor/Singles in June; Lorene McLeroy begins as Church Receptionist. Church letter reports 44 for baptism, 94 by letter, 1639 church members and $783,052 in offerings.

1988-Marion Beaver returns as Associate Pastor/Senior Adults in January; The Godfrey-Rice Music Suite is named for Lurene Godfrey and Eunice Rice; Mission team to Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Keeping the Dream Alive begins where Building Together in Love ends; Renovation of the Patterson Building begins. Church letter reports 54 for baptism, 81 by letter, 1719 church members, and $793,646 in offerings.

1989-Keith Chandler comes as Associate Pastor/Music in February; James Lee comes as Associate Pastor/Singles in February; Record Sunday School attendance (834) on March 19; Mission ’89 team goes to Trenton, Ohio. Church letter reports 45 for baptism, 84 by letter, 1803 church members and $711,438 in offerings.

1990-Opening of New Life Building in March; Mission ’90 team goes to Greensboro, North Carolina; Chestnut Log mission constituted; Adult choir presents Dinner Theater. Church letter reports 36 for baptism, 76 by letter, 1880 church members, and $782,259 in offerings.

1991-Mission ’91 team goes to Mad River Township, Ohio; Our church hosts a Commissioning Service for US-2missionaries; First Pumkin Patch Jam on October 31; Ron King moves from Associate Pastor/Youth to Associate Pastor/Singles. Church letter reports 41 for baptism, 80 by letter, 1893 church members and $835,780 in offerings.

1992-Louis Codone begins as Associate Pastor/Youth, Music Reunion Day in February; Mission ’92 crew to Dadeville, Alabama; Ray Woolridge is called as Mission Pastor. Church letter reports 39 baptisms, 62 by letter, 1943 church members and $845,354 in offerings.

1993-Marion Beaver Day in May; Mission ’93 team to Cullman, Alabama; Dr. Marion and Jerry go to Holy Land; Crossroads’ first worship service in September; Church letter reports 59 baptisms, 75 by letter, 2017 church members and $854,576 in offerings.

1994-Mission ’94 to Waldorf, Maryland; First Camp Meeting Days in August; Crossroads enters into a new building and renovations project; Billy Graham Crusade in October; Buddy Lamb is called as Associate Pastor/Youth in January; Bob Greene is called as Associate Pastor/Singles in January. Deenie Cook begins as staff secretary. Church letter reports 31 baptisms, 61 by letter, 2054 church members and $912,048 in offerings.

1995-Record Sunday School attendance (843) in January; Building Committee recommends that we enlist Cargill Associates to lead a capital stewardship program called Vision 2000; Mission ’95 to Iowa; Youth Mission Trip to Germany; Kay Lynn Estes serves as Summer Intern; Commitments to Vision 2000 exceed $1.1. million. Church letter reports 48 baptisms, 75 by letter, 2139 church members and $1,050,092 in offerings.

1996-Ken Johnson begins ministry as Associate Pastor/Singles in February; 50th Anniversary Celebration in March; Mission ’96 to Georgetown, Indiana; Rhonda Yarbrough serves as summer intern; Dorie Jones begins as Youth Minister in June; Miracle Day – countdown to pay off indebtedness begins in September and successfully concludes in November. Church letter reports 36 baptisms, 68 by letter, 2197 church members, and $1,340,268 in offerings.

1997-Groundbreaking for Activities Center; Record Sunday School attendance (919) in March; Mission ’97 to Beaufort, South Carolina; Robin Smart begins as Children’s Minister in February. Church letter reports 34 baptisms, 59 by letter, 2227 church members and $1,370,415 in offerings.

1998-First Wild Game Dinner in February; Mission ’98 to two churches in Colorado; Distinguished Ministry Recognition of Irene Leavell – Sr. Adult day; Betty Spencer retires as CDC Director; Acteens to National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky; First churchwide ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ in August; Journeymen Grace Robinette and Jennifer Whatley are commissioned for mission service in December; Sherri Bartlett comes as CDC Director in December. Church letter reports 39 baptisms, 22 by letter, 2254 church members, and $1,624,946 in offerings.

1999-Forward by Faith campaign, led by Dr. Bob Whitmire, results in commitments of $1,944,287.44; Activities Center Dedication Day in April, Marion Beaver Drive is dedicated; Mission ’99 to Las Cruces, New Mexico; Sean Durity begins as Associate Pastor/Students in August. Church letter reports 43 baptisms, 40 by letter, 2292 church members, and $1,697,821 in offerings.

Uniform Associational Letter: 1953

Church Campus: 1987

A note on the back of this image states it was taken around 1987.

Uniform Associational Letter: 1948

A Church Bulletin: 1948

The bulletin is typed and has four pages. The cover page is shown below. Underlined underneath the title "Come Unto Me" are the words-----If you love God with Heart and Soul, you cannot fail to reach the Goal.

Underneath the pastor's name.....J.A. Patterson....are the words THE CHURCH WHERE EVERYBODY IS COUNTED FOR SOMETHING.

The second page provides "visible results" which is basically a worship report stating there was 113 people in Sunday School, 62 in Training Union, 7 at the Mid-Week prayer service, and the offering of the day was $95.25.

You can click on these bulletin images to enlarge them.....

The third page of the bulletin (not pictured) contains the Order of Service for Sunday, August 1, 1948.
Morning Service:
9:45 a.m. Sunday School, L.T. Chandler, Supt.
11:00 a.m. CALL TO WORSHIP
Special Music
Invitation Hymn
Evening Service
7:00 p.m. Traning Union, Mrs. Ruth Berry, Direction
Invitation Hymn
Calendar for the Week
*Mon. 3:00 p.m.-The Lillian Sayer Circle will meet with Mrs. Hoyt West. Each one is urged to attend
*Mon. 8:00 p.m.-Deacons' meeting at the Church.
*Wed. 3:00 p.m.- GAs and RAs will meet at the Church
*Wed. 8:00 p.m.-Mid-week Prayer Meeting-led by the Training Union
*Fri. 8:00 p.m.-Choir practices at the Church.
The fourth and final page of the bulletin (not pictured) lists the church staff positions: J.A. Patterson, Pastor; H.V. Branan, Chairman Board of Deacons; E.W. Ralls, Chairman Board of Trustees; I.C. Williams, Church Treasurer; J.P. Jackson, Choir Director; Mrs. John Rice, Pianist; L.T. Chandler, Sunday School Superintendent; Mrs. Ruth Berry, Training Union Director; E.W. Ralls, Church Clerk; Mrs. A.R. DuBard, President W.M.U.
Regular meetings of organizations is also listed on the fourth page:
Deacons - meet Monday night after first Sunday
W.M.U. - meet third Monday
Teachers and Officers - Fourth Monday night
Church Conference - meets Wednesday night after first Sunday
GAs, RAs, and Sunbeams - First and third Wednesday at 3:00 p.m

Church Fire: October 28, 1949

The above image and newspaper clipping if from The Atlanta Constitution and is dated Saturday, October 29, 1949. If you click on the image you can see a larger version and isolate it on your screen by itself.

The caption underneath the image states, FIRE DESTROYS LITHIA SPRINGS CHURCH---The new $62,000 First Baptist Church in Lithia Springs was destroyed by fire last night. The structure was dedicated only last Sunday. The fire was discovered shortly before a scheduled meeting.

It was well the church had a firm foundation because it went from a mountain-top experience of exaltation to the valley of despair in five short days. It was in the testing time that the real church emerged to build again an even larger, stronger organization, with more facilities to proclaim God’s love in the community.

Three days after the disastrous fire a meeting was called to discuss plans for the future. From that time on, every effort was put forth in raising funds and devising plans for another building. Surrounding churches offered their facilities, a store building, the Scout Hut, and private homes were used on a temporary basis. Later meetings were held in the school until the present auditorium was completed in August, 1951.

October, 2007: The Steeple Raising

On October 4, 2007 the church steeple over the sanctuary building was replaced.

The old steeple:

Beginning the process:

Lift off!

As dark begins to fall the new steeple swings into sight:

Jim Cook oversaw the process

Almost there...

Behold the new steeple!