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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 13, 2017

Green Mound Church marks 170th anniversary

Sep 25, 2017
Photo by: Submitted Green Mound Church has been gearing up all summer with small celebrations in honor of their 170th anniversary. They are finishing the summer festivities with a special worship service and lunch on Oct. 8. Everyone is welcome to attend.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Thurman Hughes was the first pastor’s kid to move into Green Mound Church of God’s parsonage, which was built right next to the church in 1952. On Oct. 8, Hughes will be returning to Green Mound, preaching where his father once preached, celebrating the church’s 170th anniversary.

This special worship service is the final event in celebration of Green Mound’s 170th anniversary. The congregation began their celebration with their annual “Singspiration” and Ice Cream Social on July 9. Following was a performance by Adam Creager and his ensemble “Class Sax 2.0” on Aug. 12. Gospel music from “4 His Love” was enjoyed by the congregation on Sept. 9.

While the building at 1275 Merrimac Rd. in Wayland was built in 1901, the church began gathering much earlier than that in 1837. As their prayer meetings moved into more formal services thanks to missionary preacher from Eastern Pennsylvania Leadership Emanuel Logue, the pioneer church was designated a Church of God, later to become known as the Green Mound Church of God in 1847.

Today, the country church averages 25 attendees. Pastor Nancy Baldosier, who has been with the church for six years, said that she believes it isn’t the size of the congregation, but the way they are able to come together as a body of Christ that makes Green Mound a good place to be.

“My prayer for Green Mound is that each person that’s there will grow closer to the Lord, that they walk each day with him,” Baldosier said.

As Hughes prepares his sermon for Oct. 8, he said “a lot of memories come to me.”

“As I think about the service, I’m going to miss seeing those people in the congregation,” Hughes said, referring to a couple in the church who acted as his grandparents when he was a boy. “Naturally, it’s really a privilege to come back to a church and see people who have been there from my age group still serving the Lord.”

One of those couples reminiscing with Hughes about when they were teenagers together in the church is Ron and Carrol Bain. Carrol’s father, Delane Stephens, served as pastor of Green Mound in 1960 after Hughes’ father finished his tenure in 1959. Carrol also lived in the parsonage.

“When I first came, there were a lot of young people,” Carrol said. “Then after I graduated, I met my husband. We raised our kids here in this church. There’s a dedication of the people, faithfulness of the members,” she said.

In fact, Carrol’s son and his wife Terri Bain still attend Green Mound. As one of the youngest members of the church, Bain volunteers her time, ensuring the building and the congregation is taken care of. She is even looking into historical registry for the building.

“Nobody likes change, but we’re trying to update and preserve the building,” Bain said. “People who have been going here forever just think of it as their church. They don’t realize how old it is or how significant.”

Julie Helling, who joined the church just this past year, said that she is “tickled” to be a part of the anniversary celebration. As they celebrate this milestone and look toward the future, Helling said that she hopes the church can continue giving the message it has been giving for the last 170 years.

“It’s a wonderful community of Christian believers who feel very powerful about having the presence of God available to anyone who wants to partake in the worship of Christ,” Helling said, who serves the church as pianist on Sunday mornings.

Carrol said that the church continues to exist because of a lot of dedication, cooperation and working together.

“I just think it’s something that hardly anyone can claim as a heritage here,” Carrol said. “I just think we are blessed. The Lord has blessed us throughout the years.”

Green Mound isn’t looking to convert or steal people away from their home churches on Oct. 8, for the special 170th anniversary service, Bain said. But they do want people to know that the church is there and everyone is welcome to take part in the celebration. The service begins at 10 a.m. followed by a free, catered lunch.

“It would be my hope that this would bring people who at some point, at any point in their life, who have been touched by Green Mound in any way, will come and share some of their stories and some of the things Green Mound has been for them,” Baldosier said.

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