ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) — Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church was established in 1920.
On Sunday, the church held a centennial celebration service.
The service had speakers, music and time to look back on memories and milestones over the past 100 years.
Special guests for the day included the executive director of the National Association of Free Will Baptist, the executive director of North American Ministries, and the state director of the Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists.
Activities lined up for the day included preaching from current and former pastoral staff, worship, a cookout, live music, events for kids and a blood drive in partnership with Marsh Regional Blood Center.
“Our hope is to take this moment in time to thank and praise God for His faithfulness over these past 100 years of ministry as well as thank the community for the opportunity that we’ve been given to serve in Erwin,” said Noah Taylor, the Evergreen Church pastor. “We are delighted at the opportunity we’ve been given to serve, share the gospel, and be a beacon of hope in the Erwin community for 100 years. It is our prayer that our light will continue to shine brightly for the next 100 years.”
Although the name and location have changed over the years, the mission of reaching people with the gospel of Christ has remained the same.
Pastor Taylor says the church is now looking forward to the next 100 years.
“As a church, we believe gathering is critical for worship, but at the same time you have to be safe, and so I think people are really anticipating getting together and just spending time together and encouraging one another,” he said. “It’s been a long year, so we’re excited to kind of hopefully celebrate today in a way that people can enjoy it.
“I hope that our church will just continue to focus on reaching people in our community. We believe as a church we have what people need. We believe we have the good news and we want to share that with them and be a place where they can find hope and help and just be an encouragement to them moving forward.”
The celebration was supposed to happen in October of 2020 but the church postponed the event due to COVID-19.