Serving God and Vincent for 100 years

Bobby Joe Seales presents a certificate from the Shelby County Historical Society to Arkwright Baptist Church's pastor Don Morris Sept. 25. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

VINCENT – Members of Arkwright Baptist Church celebrated the church’s 100th anniversary on Sept. 25.

Twenty-six pastors have served the Arkwright community since the church’s founding on July 19, 1911. Dr. Donald Morris, the church’s current pastor, has stood behind the pulpit for the last 25 years.

“The only common denominator between when this church started and today is that God has always been here,” Morris said. “No church can stay in business 100 years unless God blesses it.”

Dr. Hugh Richardson, an associational missionary with the Shelby Baptist Association, presented a certificate to Morris, as did Linda Rodgers of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission. The Vincent Historical and Environmental Society gave a cross to the church in commemoration of the anniversary.

Bobby Joe Seales, president of the Shelby County Historical Society, gave a brief history of T.M. Nelson, the church’s first pastor who founded the church in 1911. In the stead of Lee Anne Wofford of the Alabama Historical Commission, Seales presented the sign and certificate stating Arkwright Baptist Church’s listing on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

“This is something you people should be very proud of,” Seales told the congregation.

Arkwright Baptist Church was named to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on Sept. 25. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

Vickie Vick, a longtime member of Arkwright Baptist, presented memories and pictures of former and current church members.

“The foundation was built on God’s rock,” she said. “We know a church is not a building. It’s the people who worship here.”

Vick told stories about the Christian couples who led the church through the past years.

“These are the people who taught children to love Jesus and to love this church,” Vick said. “These people led most of us to Christ. These people are definitely a part of us. Today, 100 years later, we’re still led by Christian people. We must continue in the footsteps of the Christians of our past.”