Saturday, June 28, 2008

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.