MOULTRIE, Ga. — The Rev. Alfred Jones and the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Family will celebrate the 114th Church Anniversary Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 5-7 at 7 p.m.
The celebration will continue Sunday, Nov. 10, beginning at the 8 a.m. service, followed by Sunday School, and the 11 a.m. service.
The theme for the occasion is “Coming Together,” and the scriptural background is found in 1 Corinthians 1:10.
The church was constituted in 1905 by the Rev. Lonzo Holmes with less than 20 baptized believers, according to a press release from the church. The church was named Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, and was originally established in Tignon, Georgia. Over time, the church was relocated to Moultrie, Georgia, and the name was changed to its present name, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
The church has prospered for 114 years under the leadership of several spiritual men of God, the press release said. Most recently was the Rev. Leroy Thompson Jr., of Tallahassee, Fla. He served for 34 years (1971-2005). Under his leadership several milestones were reached. And in recognition of his predecessor, Rev. Thompson honored the legacy of Rev. W. F. Johnson and initiated a scholarship, The W. F. Johnson Scholarship, in his memory.
Each pastor has implemented different ministries and currently, under the leadership of Pastor Alfred Jones, the church has maintained its legacy, the press release said. While celebrating this milestone for the church, the congregation will also celebrate the 14th anniversary of Pastor Jones and First Lady Delaonne Jones.
The jubilant occasion will begin with the Rev. Craig E. Moore, pastor of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church of Baconton, Ga. He will be the guest messenger for Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Moore is a native of Ringgold, Ga., where he was a dedicated member of Shiloh Baptist Church where his father currently serves as interim pastor. He began his music ministry under the tutelage of his mother and became choir director/pianist at age 13. Moore has served several churches in the Chattanooga/NW Georgia Metro Area. He toured with Georgia 4-H’s performing arts group, the nationally renowned Clovers & Co. headquartered at the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.
Moore attended Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. While there, he served as music director for Flagg Chapel Baptist Church. It was during this time of growth and maturation that he came to realize his calling was broader than the ministry of music. After nearly eight years of ministering through music in Middle Georgia, Moore answered his call to preach the Gospel and was ordained in April of 2012.
While serving as interim pastor for Forest Chapel Baptist in Pinehurst, Ga., Moore was called to shepherd the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as lead pastor. He was recently appointed vice president of the 2nd District of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc.
Moore is currently employed by the state of Georgia as a mental health and rehabilitation case manager.
On Thursday night, the Rev. Henry Mathis, pastor of Richland Missionary Baptist Church will render the services. Mathis is a native of Moultrie. He currently serves as the pastor of Richland Missionary Baptist Church, Boston, Ga., and has cherished this honor for the past 16 years.
He is a graduate of South Georgia Academy for Protestant Ministers. Mathis serves as chaplain of Luke Strong & Son Mortuary. He is married to First Lady Margaret Mathis.
Minister Donald Reeves will be the messenger for the 8 a.m. Sunday services. Reeves is a native of Moultrie and the son of Lovett Reeves Jr. and Louise Irving Reeves.
Reeves served in the U.S. Army. He completed three tours of duty in Germany, two years in Korea, three tours at Ft. Gordon in Augusta, Ga., and one tour at Ft. Ord in California.
Reeves has been a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church since he was 9 years old and subsequently ordained as a deacon on April 2010 under the leadership of the Rev. Clinton Clark. He later answered the call to the ministry in July 2018. On Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019 he received his license to preach. And, now he has become the son of the House at Macedonia under the leadership of Pastor Ellis Gudes.
Reeves graduated from Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga., where he received his associate degree. He is currently employed with Walmart.
He has been married to the former Liza Blakely since June 1973. They are the proud parents of three children, Asia, Tenay, and Donald Jr.
Continuing with the 11 a.m. service, the Rev. Tony Lowden will be the messenger. Lowden is described as a well-rounded godly man. He was reared in North Philadelphia in a single-parent home and understands the plight of poverty and illiteracy. He believes young people need a firm biblical foundation and a good education to become productive citizens.
While on an athletic scholarship, Lowden double majored in economics and government at the University of Southern California and he earned his Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Lowden founded and served as executive director of STONE Academy, an after-school enrichment program for at-risk children in the Macon-Bibb County area. He served as pastor at Strong Tower Fellowship and was the youth pastor at Lundy Chapel Missionary Baptist in Macon. He has performed as well in other leadership capacities, and in numerous civic organizations in Middle Georgia.
His community service has included the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development Board, and he sat on the Board of Directors for the Center for Racial Understanding. He is a 2011 graduate of the esteemed organizational leadership Georgia. He is also a member of American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Leadership Network Fall 2016 class.
He concurrently serves as chaplain for the Secret Service in Southwest Georgia. In 2012 he was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, where he continues to serve, as a commissioner on the State Charter School Commission.
He is a loving father to Tabitha Lowden, and is devoted to his wife, an educator and performing artist, G. Pilar Lowden. He currently serves as pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. where his spiritual congregation includes President Jimmy Carter.
The celebration will culminate with a fellowship dinner, and everyone is invited to attend. The church is located at 421 Sixth Ave. N.W. The Rev. Alfred Jones is pastor.