Maplesville Baptist celebrates 105 years

Published 11:19 pm Friday, October 19, 2012

Maplesville Baptist Church will celebrate 105 years of existence with a homecoming celebration Sunday, Oct. 21.

According to church records, Maplesville Baptist was formed after an organized tent meeting by the Rev. Ray in 1907.

The Rev. J.W. Mitchell was the first pastor, and in 1948, the first full-time pastor, the Rev. Clayton Gilbert, filled the position.

What began as a small, 55-foot square wooden frame building is now one of the most noticeable structures on Main Street in downtown Maplesville.

Business meeting minutes from Sept. 16, 1923, state that the church was also used by the public school until the school building was put to use.

The education building was dedicated on April 18, 1954; the auditorium and sanctuary were dedicated on Sept. 11, 1960; and the Christian Life Center was named on April 12, 1995.

Remodeling of the sanctuary began in 2002 and was completed in 2003.

Offices for the pastor, minister of music and secretary are located in the Christian Life Center.

The bell hanging in the church’s steeple originally hung in the Methodist church at Cahaba while Cahaba was the capital of Alabama from 1820–1826.

The church disbanded for a time, but Mr. Tom U. Crumpton obtained the bell from a bell collector in Selma. The bell was then hung in the original building of Maplesville Baptist Church and still hangs in the steeple today.

Over the years, many youth and adults have participated in mission trips, both in the United States and in other countries, and a former pastor served in the mission fields of Africa for many years.

Its members have also been involved in many community projects, both locally and throughout the county.

At the church’s homecoming Oct. 21, Bro. Larry Felkins of the Chilton Baptist Association will bring the morning message, followed by praise and worship and a covered dish meal.

“We do not have a full-time pastor at the moment, but Bro. Terry Harris from Clanton is serving as our interim pastor,” Pam Smitherman, church secretary, said. “Today, we are a small, very family-oriented and dedicated church that looks forward to new growth, both spiritually and in numbers in the years to come.”