Moultrie Observer

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October 2, 2012

Sanctuary celebrates 100 years

MOULTRIE — In October 1912, First Presbyterian Church dedicated its new sanctuary, inviting their Baptist and Methodist neighbors to commemorative services. Now, 100 years later, they are inviting all their neighbors to join in services to commemorate 100 years of worship in the sanctuary.

When the congregation, organized in 1892, built the sanctuary in 1912, it was the congregation’s third building and was quite unique for the community. The new church featured English Gothic architecture, a design style unusual for a small South Georgia town. Parapets of stone gave the building a castle-like appearance. From the air, it appears the church was built in the shape of a cross with four tower-like structures in each comer. The bell tower in the northwest comer is the central point of the construction. The bell and its mechanisms were moved from the second church.

The three four-lancet traceried stained glass windows were also unusual for a town the size of Moultrie during the early 20th Century. Additionally, there are 26 single lancet stained glass windows of various sizes all around the building. The structure cost about $30,000 and was funded through generous contributions of members, without benefit of a loan.

The congregation will begin its celebration on Sunday, Oct. 7, with the premiere of a commemorative cookbook, “Pass the Plate: A Legacy of Faith, Family, Fellowship and Food.” In addition to over 600 recipes, the cookbook includes much of the history of the church with illustrations by members and friends of the church. The cookbook features a hardback, lay-flat spiral binding and also includes some children’s recipes.

This is the fourth cookbook published by the Presbyterian women. The first cookbook was published in 1936 and a second in 1945. In 1950, the third revised edition was printed in collaboration with the Pilot Club, selling 2,000 copies at $2 each.

The cookbooks were used by homemakers all over the county and were the choice of young brides who wanted “tried and true” recipes from people they respected. So popular was the book that it was reprinted in 1970 because of numerous requests fro them. The current cookbook includes some of the favorite recipes from the previous editions.

The reception for the release of the cookbook will be from 3 to 5 p.m., in the fellowship hall. The public is invited to attend and enjoy refreshments prepared from recipes in the book. The book sells for $24 and is available at the church office and local retailers including Frameworks 123 and Christian Books and More.

Three services will honor the past, present and future of the church. Saturday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m., members will light candles in memory of someone who has shaped their faith during a Candlelight Remembrance Service. This service will pay tribute to many of the “saints” in the church.

Centennial Sunday, Oct. 14, begins at 10:15 a.m., with the ringing of the bell 100 times by the children. Worship service will start at 10:30 a.m., with special music, guest musicians and clergy, rededication of the 1892 Bible and presentation of a new pulpit Bible. The service will be webcast on the church’s website at www.moultriefirstpres.com.

As Presbyterians are known to do, they’ll celebrate the weekend with a covered dish lunch immediately following the worship service. Descendants of the founding families will be recognized, as well as those who have been a member for 50 years or more. Former staff members and their families will also be honored. Special recognition will be given to families with three or more generations as members of the church. Items for a time capsule will be collected. The time capsule will be opened at the sesquicentennial of the congregation in 2042.

Sunday afternoon, at 2:30, the congregation will open the sanctuary for tours from the balcony to the basement and all points in between. Docents will be stationed throughout the sanctuary to share the history of the church. The public is invited to participate in the tours and closing service which will begin at 2:30 p.m. This service, focusing on the future of the church, will include a performance by the youth choir.

The congregation encourages the community to participate in all of the events. For more information, contact the church office at 501 First Street S.E. or by calling 229-985-3158. A complete schedule of events is available on the webpage at www.moultriefirstpres.com

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