Hephzibah Baptist celebrates 150th anniversary

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In the early 1860s, Hephzibah Baptist Association completed the school that would eventually become Hephzibah High.

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Hephzibah Baptist Church was founded in the early 1860s. It met in Hephzibah High School for years, but today is on Georgia Highway 88.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Hephzibah Baptist Church was founded in the early 1860s. It met in Hephzibah High School for years, but today is on Georgia Highway 88.

A church was needed to provide chapel services for students, and in the fall of 1862, Hephzibah Baptist Church was founded.

This weekend, the church celebrates 150 years of service to the community.

An old-fashioned worship service reminiscent of an 1862 church meeting will begin at 4 p.m. today in the present-day Hephzibah Southern Methodist Church building, Hephzibah Baptist’s former sanctuary.

The church met in the chapel of Hephzibah High School for its first 26 years, according to a church history compiled by Jerry Cole and others.

“There’s some incredibly rich history here,” said the Rev. Danny McGill, senior pastor.

Former pastors, the Revs. John Beck and Ted Page, will return for the celebration this weekend, along with former music ministers and staff.

About 350 to 400 people are expected to attend a concert, worship service and dinner on the grounds on Sunday.

Most weeks, the congregation numbers 250 to 300, a total that has nearly doubled in recent years, McGill said.

“That’s the work God is doing here,” he said. “Part of the success of the church has been the long tenure of pastors. John Beck was here 25 years.”

In August, the church bought 2½ acres of land next door on Georgia Highway 88.

“We know expansion is in our future and we’re thankful for that,” McGill said. “We’re looking forward to seeing what God is going to do next.”

150TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

WHAT: An old-fashioned worship service reminiscent of 1862

WHEN: 4 p.m. today

WHERE: Hephzibah Southern Methodist Church, 2228 Hephzibah-McBean Road

WHAT: Concert of praise and worship, featuring contemporary worship from recent decades.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Hephzibah Baptist Church, 2527 Georgia Highway 88

WHAT: 150th worship celebration

WHEN: A pre-worship concert begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by a 10:30 a.m. service and dinner on the grounds at noon.

WHERE: Hephzibah Baptist Church, 2527 Georgia Highway 88

LEARN MORE: Call (706) 592-4501 or see hephzibahbaptist.org.


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