Church homecoming celebrated

Published 8:58 am Friday, December 17, 2010

Helen Nixon, who I hear is in her 90s, stopped by The Tidewater News a few days ago to share a story about the Homecoming Celebration at Courtland Baptist Church.

Held Dec. 5, Helen called it “a most unusual day in the 165-year history of the church.”

“As we went to bed on Saturday night, the first snow of the season was falling fast, decorating trees, cars and the grounds around the beautiful new church,” she wrote.

At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, committees registered for the event. When the celebration began an hour later, the sun was shining brightly and the snow melted like magic.

The program was attended by 332 people. It opened with Linda Sutton at the organ and Bud Kellogg playing hand bells. Woody Wilson got a standing ovation for playing his guitar and singing.

Linda, who is also the choir director, was joined by assistant choir director, Me’chele Cutchin, and Drew Dunn and the praise team for the musical program.

The theme for the Homecoming was “Imagine.” Roxanne Jester made a videotape with pictures of church members from 1895 — in the horse and buggy days — to 2010. Among photos were pictures of the church’s first wedding between Woody and Dot Wilson.

Helen noted she is the oldest active female member of the church, while Milton Futrell is the oldest among the men. Lloyd Allen Applewhite has been the longest serving member.

Margaret Edwards, who lives in a nursing home, is the oldest inactive member. She is 96.

As part of the program, the Rev. Tommy Speight gave the message — “Imagine” then and now.

At the close of the program, finger foods were served in the church’s new fellowship hall. Providing food were Audrey Gagner, Betty Long and Camilla Wainwright and their committee.

Helen also noted that during the Oct. 24 dedication of the church’s new sanctuary and fellowship hall, a record 662 people attended.

* A few of the women from East Pavilion nursing home went to Pizza Hut for lunch and then shopping at Roses.

    They included Dorothy Duck, Martha Blythe, Hazel Drewry, Venita Smith, Bernice Ellis, Christine Britton, Evie Fowler and Cilda Edwards.