More than 300 attend Black Creek Baptist anniversary service

Published 10:56 am Saturday, May 28, 2011

Attending the 225th anniversary for Black Creek Baptiist Church were, from left, Dr. Melvin Bradshaw, the first missionary for the church; Dr. Fred Anderson, who portrayed Dr. William Hatcher during the service; the Rev. Willis Switzer, pastor emeritus of Black Creek; the Rev. Greg Kitts, current pastor; and former pastor, the Rev. Wayne Underwood, pastor at Jonesboro Baptist Church in Roseland.

The Rev. Larry Cribb, who served from 1972-1977, was the first present day, full-time pastor at Black Creek Baptist Church.

FRANKLIN—The Rev. Greg Kitts, pastor of Black Creek Baptist Church, describes his congregation as a group with an attitude to push forward for what they believe.

One can assume it was that same drive and determination that had a part in the church forming 225 years ago.

More than 300 people, including former church members, attended a service on May 22 to commemorate the May 27, 1786, founding of the Southampton County church.

“We were very pleased to see current and former members come together,” Kitts said.

Those in attendance included previous ministers Larry Cribb, Wayne Underwood and pastor emeritus Willis Switzer. The special guests also included 93-year-old J.A. Talley, who was raised in the church, and Melvin Bradshaw, a missionary from the church who went to Japan.

Ministry secretary Joan Newsome said Dr. Fred Anderson, executive director of the Baptist Historical Society, entertained the crowd during the two-hour service by portraying Dr. William Hatcher, a traveling minister in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“It was very uplifting,” Newsome said about the service. “Memories were shared, and it was humorous. It was just a wonderful time of remembrance and fellowship.”

The service also included a display of artifacts depicting the church’s history, Newsome said. On display were Bibles dating back to the mid-1800s, the original communion cup set and articles from The Tidewater News on early church events.

The service was followed by a luncheon.

Kitts, who has been at the church for 10 years, said the congregation is caring.

“Some things that drew me here are what keeps me here,” Kitts said. “I’m proud of this congregation.”

He said the church has a great relationship with its surrounding community.

The average attendance is 180, Kitts said, and the membership has grown each year.

The church has an outstanding youth program under the direction of youth minister Michael Barlow, Kitts said. The group is working toward a mission trip in Charleston, S.C.