Woodward, Okla. —
SHARON--The past and the present will be celebrated at First Baptist Church Sharon this Sunday.
The church will be marking its 100th anniversary with an all day Centennial Celebration.
Activities will begin with the regular Sunday School classes starting at 10 a.m., followed by the regular morning service at 11 a.m.
Pastor Ken McKinley said he will be focusing his sermon that morning toward the church's centennial and the role the church has played in the Sharon community over the past 100 years.
Then at noon there will be a free lunch, which will have catered main dishes and pot luck side dishes. And from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 there will be a variety of games.
"We're going to try and have games that they played 100 years ago as well as some newer ones, including an inflatable bounce house," McKinley said. "We hope to have a lot of fun."
Then at 2 p.m. a Centennial Service will be held, featuring several former pastors of the church.
"I don't know exactly how many will be able to make it, but I know at least 5 of them will be there," McKinley said, noting "each of them will speak for a while and share their experiences from when they were here."
Sunday's Centennial Celebration will then end with cake and ice cream, he said.
"We invite everybody who would like to, to come out and be a part of it. We're really excited about the celebration; it's going to be great," he said.
First Baptist Church Sharon actually got it's start in 1911, with community members meeting together in houses and sometimes at the school to worship, McKinley said.
However, these worship meetings weren't organized into a formal church until Feb. 20, 1913 when the church became "officially incorporated with the state of Oklahoma."
McKinley said the church didn't celebrate on its official centennial date, because members wanted to wait until summer, "when everybody could get out and enjoy everything."
The church's first building was built at the corner of South Third and Trotter streets in Sharon, which served as it's worship hall until 1976.
Then on its 63rd anniversary, in Feb. 1976 the church moved to its current location along Highway 34 approximately a quarter mile north of Sharon on the hill.
Now for it's 100th anniversary, McKinley said the church will be marking another construction achievement by breaking ground this Sunday on a new fellowship hall.
However, the pastor said the church's most significant achievement is and always will be the people that it brings to Christ.
"Over the past 20 years, we've had 74 professions of faith," he said. "When you talk about achievements over the years, I think that means the most."
McKinley said he thinks it's important for his church to celebrate its 100th anniversary, because it is also a celebration of God.
"Jesus said in the Gospel, in Matthew 16:18, 'I will build my church.' So really the fact that the church has been here for 100 years, it's a fulfillment of his word," the pastor said. "The average church nowadays lasts about 40 years. So for our church to be here for 100 years it is a testament to God's faithfulness and a testament that he has a plan for Sharon and the surrounding community."