Church cel­e­brates 120th an­niver­sary

Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - SU­SAN HOL­LAND shol­land@nwadg.com

GRAVETTE – Mem­bers of the First Chris­tian Church in Gravette hosted an an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion Satur­day, Sept. 29, to com­mem­o­rate the church’s 120th year in ex­is­tence. About 60 guests at­tended the spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion.

The cel­e­bra­tion be­gan in the sanc­tu­ary of the church where pas­tor Don­ald Miller greeted guests and thanked them for com­ing. John Mitchael, a church board mem­ber, then wel­comed ev­ery­one and spoke about the bless­ings the church had ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing its ex­is­tence. Bob Kel­ley, an­other board mem­ber, gave a brief history of the church, telling how, in the spring of 1898, “af­ter count­ing the cost,” mem­bers be­gan build­ing the struc­ture with lum­ber hauled by wagon from 10 miles away. The build­ing was com­pleted, ex­cept for the seats, in Septem­ber 1898, at a cost of $400. Kel­ley pointed out that the na­tive wal­nut pews in the sanc­tu­ary are the orig­i­nal pews built by early church mem­bers.

John Mitchael then re­turned to the pul­pit and in­tro­duced Gravette mayor Kurt Mad­dox, who pre­sented pas­tor Miller with a procla­ma­tion. The procla­ma­tion read, “Whereas, the First Chris­tian Church of Gravette, Arkansas, was or­ga­nized in 1898; and whereas, the First Chris­tian Church has been a cor­ner­stone of the com­mu­nity for 120 years; and whereas the First Chris­tian Church of Gravette has served the com­mu­nity through out­reach and mis­sion projects; and whereas, the First Chris­tian Church of Gravette in­cludes a com­mu­nity of con­cerned, car­ing and self­less cit­i­zens; and whereas, the First Chris­tian Church of Gravette de­serves recog­ni­tion for the con­tri­bu­tions they have made and will con­tinue to make to our com­mu­nity, our State and our Nation; and whereas, we deeply ap­pre­ci­ate the church and its con­gre­ga­tion’s ded­i­ca­tion to the city of Gravette and its res­i­dents over the past 120 years; now, there­fore, I, Kurt Mad­dox, as mayor of the city of Gravette, do hereby pro­claim the im­por­tance of the in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity made by the First Chris­tian Church of Gravette over the past 120 years.”

Sev­eral mem­bers and for­mer mem­bers of the church and a for­mer youth pas­tor and his fam­ily at­tended the cel­e­bra­tion, as well as San­dra Aber­nathy, widow of Bill Aber­nathy, who pa­s­tored the church from 2001 to 2006; Bev­erly Gib­son, widow of Mike Gib­son, an­other for­mer pas­tor; and Gib­son’s grand­chil­dren.

Af­ter the short cer­e­mony and sev­eral pho­tos, guests moved to the fel­low­ship hall where they were served cake, nuts and cold bev­er­ages and en­joyed a time of fel­low­ship.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/SU­SAN HOL­LAND

Bob Kel­ley, board mem­ber at Gravette First Chris­tian Church, gives a brief history of the church at the 120thanniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion Sept. 29. Kel­ley said mem­bers be­gan build­ing in spring 1898, and the struc­ture was com­pleted in Septem­ber 1898, at a cost of $400.

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