“An Ancient Faith, a Continuing Vision” is the theme of Spring Creek Baptist Church’s upcoming anniversary celebration.
The church is marking 175 years in the gospel ministry at an anniversary celebration planned for Sunday, April 10.
The Rev. Terry Parrish, the current pastor, said the day will be highlighted with recognition of former pastors, the sharing of memories and an old-fashioned “dinner on the grounds.”
“We’ll recognize all of the former pastors who can come,” he said.
The Rev. Carl Richey, who was pastor of the congregation from the early 1990s until 2008, will be the featured speaker for a 1 p.m. service.
“We’ll have different people who have been here a number of years talk about the church and what it has meant in their lives, and we plan to read the original minutes of when the church was organized,’ Parrish said.
Music will be included at events throughout the day, Parrish said. He said the church choir will sing and there also will be some individual special music.
According to Parrish, Spring Creek was organized April 4, 1836. It now is located at 19200 Interstate 30 in Benton.
In conjunction with the anniversary events, the congregation’s Historical Committee, co-chaired by Edith Miller and Sandy Sharp, has prepared an anniversary booklet.
Also serving on that committee are Ramona Elrod, and Pat Burrow are on the committee
“We’ve been working on this about six months,” Parrish said.
He said members and others are looking forward to the upcoming celebration.
“Were just going to recognize and celebrate what we’ve done in the past and acknowledge those that are here from those earlier years,” he said.
Since 175 years have passed since the church’s beginning, there obviously are no surviving charter members, Parrish pointed out.
“The Dodd family were charter members of Spring Creek,” he said.
He explained that Confederate soldier David O. Dodd’s grandparents were members of the church.
“The original location of the church was on Edison Avenue,” Parrish said, “but when we moved out here, it was to property previously owned by the Dodd family.
“The property that we’re now on is the original Dodd family farm,” he said.
The church has been in this location since the 1970s, he said.
He pointed out that Spring Creek is one of the original members of Saline Missionary Baptist Association, which was formed in 1836. “That organization still is in existence,” he said.
“When the Saline Association organized, that was nine years before there was a Southern Baptist Convention,” he said.
“One of the things that has happened through the years is that Baptists are now identified by their associations, whereas before 1800 it was not that way. At that time, Baptists were Baptists.”
The first pastor of the congregation was Samuel Henderson, he said.
Among the former pastors expected to be present Sunday is Dr. W.A. Dillard of Benton, who now serves as pastor of Francois Baptist Church in Malvern.
“He’s still chairman of the Texarkana Baptist Orphanage,” Parrish added.
“We’re hoping he will attend,” Parrish said.
Parrish, who has been serving as Spring Creek’s pastor for two years, invited community residents to join the congregation at the special celebration.
“We’re planning a wonderful event,” he said. “We’ll share memories and celebrate the past as well as the present.”