Red Level Fairmount Baptist Church celebrates 200th anniversary


Fairmount Baptist Church at Red Level celebrates its 200th anniversary with special services on Sunday October 10.

Founded in 1821, Fairmount Baptist Church was first constructed from logs cut from the land on which the church was built. The building was a place of worship and a fortress against Indian attacks. It was erected on public land and about two years later Benjamin W. Thompson purchased the land after setting up camp near the source of the church. Thompson bought the land for 5 cents an acre and $ 2.00 in total. He then sold it to another gentleman for 12.5 cents an acre, and that gentleman cut the timber off the land and gave the land to the church.

The second building was erected around 1867 after the Civil War during the days of reconstruction. It was also built from logs cut from the property.

In 1898, the church hired GW Kierce to build its third building. In the early 1950s, Fairmount members began to deliberate on the construction of a new church building. A committee was appointed to raise funds for a building program in 1953 before a groundbreaking ceremony was held in May 1958. Services have been held in this building for over 60 years with the last service in March. 1959.

Today, the church meets in the fourth building constructed of timber cut from the ground. Each of the four buildings had some of the original timber handed down from its predecessors.

Fairmount has seen 42 pastors over its 200 year history. Today, the church has between 50 and 60 members on Sunday mornings, according to Pastor John Bell.

“We want to thank him for giving the founding members a vision for starting this church so that the community could have a place of worship and a place where members could be challenged to reach out to others for Christ.”

A celebration and homecoming service are scheduled for Sunday, October 10 at 10:30 a.m.

“Through this special service, we want to praise God for allowing the Fairmount church to exist for so long,” said Bell. “Our guest speaker, Reverend Terry Liles, is from Red Level, graduated from Red Level School and completed his PhD. in chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was ordained to ministry at Beaverdam Baptist Church in Commerce, Ga., This summer.

Fairmount has a very active youth ministry, as most go to RLS. Youth Minister Steve Bailey volunteers his time to help the high school track team. “He has developed meaningful relationships with the students so that he can be available to help not only their athletic needs but also their spiritual needs,” said Bell.

Each summer, youth attend camp at The Vineyard in Coffee County. He added that there have been many young people who have come to Christ over the years through the church’s youth camps. They also organize fifth term and school banquets. A group of active senior adults meets on Tuesday at 10 a.m. for Bible study, and Sunday School members range from kindergarten age to these seniors.

Bell said, “Our members are learning the Word of God, so they can take what they have learned and apply it daily in the community. We like to meet on Wednesday evenings so that we can pray for the needs of those in our community. “

Caleb Bell and Jimmy Rodgers lead the choir and church congregation in singing. Selections include both southern gospel and praise and worship style music. For anyone physically unable to attend, the services are streamed live on Facebook. “We also support the Gideon ministry, which distributes Bibles around the world. A member of our church, Larry Simms, is a Gideon.

The Fairmount Baptist Church is located at 28374 Church Street, across from Red Level School. Sunday school takes place at 9:30 a.m., followed by worship at 10:30 a.m. The youth prayer meeting and Bible study takes place on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Pastor John Bell at 334-764-4421. “We invite everyone to come celebrate Fairmount’s 200th anniversary and we will not have Sunday school that day. We believe this Homecoming worship service will motivate us to work even harder to reach people for Christ as we reflect on the tenacity of our ancestors, ”said Bell.

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