Highland Baptist celebrates 100 years

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Highland Baptist Church in Clanton has stood the test of time and plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary this Sunday with three special services from 9 a.m. to noon.

Each service will last about 50 minutes with special music and guest sermons from five of the church’s former pastors.

The congregation will recognize its oldest member, Mary Coe, and the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission will give a presentation on the church’s history.

Pastor Robert Griffin said Highland Baptist is currently in its third building.

The original, white-frame building was erected in 1911 and stood until 1965, when the second building was constructed with brick.

An arsonist burned the second building in 1989, and the church rebuilt the same year.

The third and current building has served as the church’s meeting place ever since, with periodical upgrades and remodels throughout the years, Griffin said.

“We have thrived on this hill for 100 years,” Griffin said. “A lot of folks that are here…are third-generation members because a lot of their parents and grandparents worked hard when times were tough to make sure we had a church here.”

Griffin said rebuilding on the same land atop the hill each time was important to church members.

“It’s significant for a country church because there were a lot of churches started around that time, but are not in existence anymore,” Griffin said. “Of course, God was providing for us the whole time. He used a lot of people as his instruments to keep the church going.”

Griffin said people may come to the church at 9 a.m. and stay until noon or simply attend one service and leave.

Lunch will be served after the last service at about 1 p.m., and a group picture will be made in front of the church, similar to pictures taken in the 1980s in front of the second building.

Griffin attributed the church’s 100 years to “the faithfulness of God and the faithfulness of his people.”