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Celebrating 112 years of ministry
[December 14, 2012]

Celebrating 112 years of ministry

Dec 13, 2012 (The Reidsville Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Zion Baptist Church celebrated its 112th anniversary Sunday, Dec. 9.

The church began in 1900 at Reverend R.L. Slade's home. Later, members met in a facility on Southwest Market Street. The church became known as "the Little Friendly Church by the Railroad Tracks." In the 1960s, the church moved to its current location at 807 Piedmont Street. Reverend E.L. Kirby led the church for 40 years. According to information provided by the church, Kirby stressed harmony and cooperation within the members. The church began to grow and therefore, the move was necessary.

On Dec. 11, 1960, the church members walked from their location at Southwest Market Street to the new building on Piedmont Street.

Pastor Michael Anthony Long is currently serving as the 16th pastor of Zion Baptist. He came to the church after serving in High Point. What drew Long to the Reidsville church, he said, is its reputation.

"It is a church of wonderful tradition and legacy in faith," Long said. "It's a church concerned about the community's faith, as well." Long said his parishioners are very active in the community. Some of them have served on city council. Many of them serve on various boards throughout the community.

"I guess simply put we're a solid and established member of the community," Long said.

A three-night revival was held last week in anticipation of the church's anniversary.

"This affirms God's presence with his people," Long said. "There is no way to endure 112 years without God's presence." Long said, not only has the church been around for 112 years but it speaks to the higher calling that the church as a whole body has been around for over 2000 years.

The church hosted an event to commemorate the anniversary on Sunday. Reverend Doctor Willie James Jennings, an associate professor of the Theology and Black Church Studies department at Duke University Divinity School was the guest speaker.

The theme of Sunday's event was, "Celebrating our faith, our work and our praise." The church also had a celebration of song and dance. They dedicated new Bible's during the service and then joined together for a fellowship dinner after.

"The celebration of the anniversary reminds us we're at another beginning," Long said. "It's a place which reminds us the journey continues." ___ (c)2012 The Reidsville Review (Reidsville, N.C.) Visit The Reidsville Review (Reidsville, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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