Community celebrates Mulberry Baptist’s 200th

Published 1:33 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Mulberry Baptist Church in Isabella kicked off its celebrations of its 200th anniversary with a Good Old Days festival of outdoor fun.

Attendees tried their hand at classic games like throwing horseshoes, three-legged races and shooting arrows. They also enjoyed carriage rides and displays of local historical artifacts and demonstrations.

“We are so excited,” coordinator Sherrell White of the attendance. “We are thankful to be able to provide this to the county and beyond Chilton (County).”

White said he was thankful to all of the people who helped get the word out.

Many church members participated by running different stations.

Louise Williams and Betty Ann Kendrick demonstrated butter churning.

“We just wanted to come together and let people see what it was (like) back in the old days,” Williams said.

Williams, who is in her late 80s, said churning butter is something she has done “many, many times.”

Williams has attended Mulberry Baptist since she was 10 years old and said she was looking forward to seeing everyone enjoy the event.

Larry Popwell had numerous arrowheads displayed. He found many of them on the property across from Mulberry Baptist Church.

“I couldn’t believe how many I found,” Popwell said.

He thinks there was once a Native American village on the spot.

Children rode horses led by capable hands. A border collie sheep herding demonstration was given.

“The whole thing is just fantastic,” Bob Groves said.

He especially enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration and the historic displays.

The sheep herding demonstration was presented by James Thomas and two of his border collies.

He said he bought his first two dogs when he was 17. Now, he and his wife travel to different events showing crowds how the dogs herd the sheep and making comparisons to biblical truth, such as how people need God’s guidance to go the right way just as the sheep need the dog.

He said he enjoys meeting people at each of the events.

Attendees were also able to pet common farm animals and a few exotic ones, including a zebra, African serval lemur and a porcupine.

“The great part about today is just the partnership and the community coming together and celebrating 200 years of serving Jesus Christ … and just being able to show kids natures and everything about what God created for them,” Angie Barnett said while enjoying the Faith Farm: Critters for Christ petting zoo. “They have a variety of things today, just something that every family can enjoy.”

She said her grandchildren were really excited about the event.

“Jack (her grandson) actually loves donkeys,” Barnett said.

In addition to the donkey in display, Jack also enjoyed the lemur.

“It really was a surprise that they would have some exotic animals here,” Barnett said.

Jack also enjoyed the tractors that were on display.

Kristy William said Faith Farms is licensed as a zoo and travels throughout the state to display the animals.

While the farm buys most of its animals from companies that supply to zoos, the lemur was donated after suffering an injury. She said right now the lemur is her favorite.

Each of the Williams’ children help care for the animals. Kristy Williams said the zebra will actually follow one of her sons around like a dog.

Debbie Moody said her grandchildren were most looking forward to the horses.

Karen Smith said she was enjoying the day with her grandchildren.

“They are having a ball,” Smith said.

They especially enjoyed shelling ears of corn with the hand tool at one of the stations. Smith’s granddaughter Mackenzie Castleberry said she enjoyed seeing how things were done “in the old times.”

A banquet and special church services are also planned to celebrated the church’s anniversary.


To purchase photos, visit