She looks good for her age. Having just recieved a fresh face lift, Cole Memorial Baptist Church in Hawley has a new lease on life, and is looking to fill her pews with new parishioners.
She looks good for her age.
Having just recieved a fresh face lift, Cole Memorial Baptist Church in Hawley has a new lease on life, and is looking to fill her pews with new parishioners.
Since 1834, the church has served Hawley’s Baptist faithful in song and sermon, and at the Demisemiseptcentennial or quartoseptcentennial celebration — depending on whose definition you use — the spirit sang through the newly refurbished space as the congregation sang the hymns their great-grandparents sang when the church was young.
With some travelling over 50 miles to attend, volunteers served a sumptuous feast in the church basement before the musical portion of the festivities.
“There’s been a lot of background work getting to this point,” Pastor Mike Eskra said during his introduction, meaning not only the obvious history that comes with a 175th anniversary, but also the complete revamp the building received during its renovation, as well as the hours of work done by the faithful church members to put on the Nov. 28 birthday party.
With the new digs comes new ambition, as well. Eskra spoke of the need to bring in more people, to continue figuratively building the church. At this, he got a loud round of applause, and more than a few raised their voices in agreement.
Following the introduction, the throng performed such old standbys as “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Rock of Ages” and “What a Friend (We Have in Jesus),” and individual members offered their own praises in turn as a slideshow of parishioners young and old danced across the screen at the alter. There was even a show by the CMBC Puppets, who were very excited to help the celebration along by making a sign.
With a long list of people to thank for their hard work in making the celebration a success, Pastor Eskra made sure to point out that it was all for the glory of God.
“I pray that just as it has for the past 175 years, Cole Memorial Baptist Church will continue into the next 175 as a lighthouse for the whole community,” Eskra said.