Springhill Baptist Church to celebrate 135 years

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 27, 2014

HISTORIC CHURCH: Members of Springhill Baptist Church will celebrate its 135th anniversary next month.  Photo by Jeremy Pittari

HISTORIC CHURCH: Members of Springhill Baptist Church will celebrate its 135th anniversary next month.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Springhill Baptist Church will celebrate their 135th anniversary next month.

Built near the Little Hell creek on a hill north of Poplarville, the church has occupied four buildings in the area, according to historical accounts maintained by the church.

It was founded on July 19th, 1879, and originally occupied a log cabin near the creek. The second building was constructed southwest of where the cemetery is currently located, and the third was built after the second mysteriously fell down, the historical account states.

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The third building was constructed across the street from where the current building, built in 1956, now stands. Youth Pastor Mark Cooper said the church’s steeple was damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

A tornado during the storm is suspected to have caused the damage, tearing the bell from the steeple and placing it in the parsonage yard next door. The bell now stands in it’s own small structure near the front door and is used every Sunday, Cooper said.

Church Clerk Robin Sellers said Katrina also damaged the roof of the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Rainfall during the storm entered church after the roof was damaged, leading to a need for renovations to repair the water damage. Repairs included new pews and other furniture.

“We totally had to replace pretty much the whole sanctuary,” Sellers said.

Congregation numbers for the church run close to 100 members, especially for Sunday services. Sunday School services bring in about 70 to 80 people, Sellers said.

The church also touts a centennial member, 107-year-old Lita Slade.

Many other members of the church have been active for decades, including Sellers who is a life long member, her husband Clyde who has served as the minister of music for the past 38 years, their pianist, Renay Gigney, who has been a member for 32 years and the organist, Dianne Barrett, who has been a member for 44 years.

“We have a lot of families who have been in the church for a long time,” Sellers said.

Sellers said a number of new members have also been added in recent years.

Over the course of the church’s history 32 pastors have served the church. The current pastor is Jeff Mann, who replaced former pastor Joe Beach, Cooper said.

On July 13th the church will celebrate their 135th anniversary by holding morning services beginning at 10 followed by lunch and musical performances by the Hedgepeth family.