Lincoln Baptist celebrates 125 years
Members of Lincoln Baptist Church are celebrating their 125th church anniversary Sunday. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. with music and will be followed by a sermon from Tom Whatley, former pastor of Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals. Dinner will follow the worship service in the fellowship hall of the church.

“I think it’s a time to look back but also look forward,” Goodwin said. “We can look back and see how God has blessed us but look forward to see what God has in store for the future.”

The church was organized by the Coosa River Association Oct. 15, 1887; charter membership was composed of 12 members from Blue Eye Baptist Church and 12 from Refuge Baptist Church.

By April 1889, a lot had been purchased on Chestnut Street with a church building that was under construction at the time, but would be around for more than 50 years.

Sunday school rooms were later added and the church continued in faith and in numbers as it entered into an aggressive building campaign that resulted in the groundbreaking of the present church on April 1, 1956.

The first services were held in the new building on Feb. 3, 1957, and its north wing was completed the next year. Thirty years after the groundbreaking for the present church, an educational annex was added on the east side of the church in 1987. The present pastorium was built across the street from the church in 1963.

Goodwin, who is called “Pastor Bill,” became pastor of Lincoln Baptist in July 2002, and has completed 10 years of faithful and joyful ministry to the church.

His wife, Sharon, was instrumental in starting a Mother's Day Out program in 2005, a day care program that runs from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. three days a week.

“It’s mainly geared to people who have a stay-at-home mom who needs a break or for grandparents who keep the kids during the week, in order to give them a break,” Goodwin said.

The couple have two children, Thomas, 6, and Rebekah, 4.

Goodwin said family plays an important role in the church and in his ministry.

In addition to being director of the Mother’s Day Out program, Sharon Goodwin is also the church’s secretary.

“So we spend a lot of time together at work and at home because when you deal with being a pastor part of the qualification is that he manages his house life well, so it’s definitely important,” Goodwin said.

The church offers several other programs and ministries such as Sunday school service at 9:45 a.m., a Wednesday night supper at 6, and a Team Kid program that focuses on the youth.

When asked about his hopes to keep the church around for another 125 years, Goodwin said it all comes down to learning from the past and preparing for the future.

“I hope that it will remain a light of the gospel to Lincoln and to this community, and that we would do a better job than we’ve done in the past of reaching people and serving God,” he said.

Goodwin said everyone is invited to the church’s anniversary celebration Sunday

“The public is invited to participate even if they may have not been a member,” Goodwin said. “We want to reach out to the community in anyway we can.”

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© 2012