Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Features

October 13, 2011

Sanctuary’s century mark one more chapter in PV history

Noteworthy Neighbor

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Historical record in any community reflects most positively on individuals who left the largest impacts, though at least as much as if not more instrumental is the influence generated by some of the founding houses of worship.

One such prominent parish in Pauls Valley has been First Baptist Church and though ties go back to before the town was formed, the current sanctuary of worship reached its own milestone at 100 years, said pastor Joe Elam. It is these years going back to 1911, which will be remembered as a part of a special service Sunday, Oct. 30, offering both celebration and reunion.

“It’s a great milestone for the church and in a way a milestone for the community,” said Elam, adding how they are prepared even if the house is packed. “We’ll put chairs in the aisles if we have to.”

According to church records, some of the earliest members began the first steps toward the congregation around 1895, meeting in Indian territory at other locations before building the first part of the current structure along at the corner of Ash Street and Grant Avenue. The building had pieces added on throughout the next several decades, before the outside received a uniformed renovation in the 1980s.

However, the sanctuary itself retains most of the features it had in the beginning, save a technological upgrade here and there and Elam said the community itself has seen much more change even in just the 30 years he’s spent at the pulpit. That’s not to say he’s not enjoyed other advances like personal computers, which removed the need to use a very messy small printing press process to print their own newsletters.

The changes Elam’s most honored to be a part of have included bringing in a younger congregation as older members have passed on and taking part in plenty of baptisms. This is complimented by the spirit of the church being much more active and even recognized for their evangelism efforts.

“One of the rewarding things to think about is around 2,000 people have been baptized in that sanctuary,” said Elam, noting how one can still find the house where the first pastor, J.B. Reeves, lived at 917 S. Chickasaw St.

“It’s just rewarding to be a part of what God does in that sense.”

Other impacts of the church throughout the years have been the founding of other southern Baptist churches through mission work, said Elam. This has included Beatty Baptist near Pauls Valley, First Baptist Church of Paoli and even some well out of the region like in Arizona.

Though all of those who first saw the sanctuary aren’t alive today, there are some members who have seen even more history with the church, like 100-year-old Parnell Collins, who has been attending most of her life, said Elam. It is often memories passed down which have kept the past preserved and will be passed along again during this milestone.

The celebration is not much beyond the regular Sunday services with Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. and the main service at 11 a.m., but there will be moments throughout where former ministers as well as staff can speak on their years spent in Pauls Valley, said Elam. There are a few of the former ministers still around in other communities and the hope is at least one of them will stop by for the occasion.

While there is no celebration meal planned for the 100th year, it also happens to fall on Elam’s final Sunday as pastor at the Church. This reception honoring his years of service is an unintended bonus since he didn’t even know he would retire when planning for the centennial began over a year ago and will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall.

“The lord works in mysterious ways and it’s a blessing when it gets us there,” said Elam. “This church has tried to think of someone besides itself.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • vacancy-sign.jpg Stay scared: 10 most haunted hotels in America An overnight stay at a haunted hotel is a nightmare come true for many thrill-seeking tourists, and travel website TripAdvisor has named the top 10 places where you can scare up a good vacation.

    October 26, 2011

  • Citizen of the Year Richelle Citizen honor an easy choice in PV

    Each year there comes along a unique opportunity in Pauls Valley for the Chamber of Commerce to choose both an individual and a company who have made a noticeable community impact.

    May 29, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy Joe Eddy Eddy closes out PV fire legacy

    There are quite a few individuals who have made a living out of setting trends, but Pauls Valley Fire Chief Joe Eddy not only made an impact through examples over the years, there’s a high bar set as he is calling it a career May 31 after 26 years.

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy William Martin Maysville history comes to life one act at a time

    Ever since the dawn of classroom based learning, teachers and administrators have struggled to find ways to engage their pupils in each semester’s curriculum.

    April 24, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy ECU Fashion ECU students ready for PV Trash Fashion

    Whether or not the fate of Pauls Valley’s first ever Trash in Fashion Show will include return engagements ultimately depends on both the participation of contestants and the support of the community, but there is promise at least on the youth side.

    April 10, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy Jim Mayberry Market grows on vocational manager

    Though seven years the creation of other minds via the Garvin County Community Living Center, one man who has become synonymous with the Valley Farmers Market over the past few has been Vocational Manager Jim Mayberry.

    April 3, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy Praytor-Joy Team fashion makes old new again

    Following a set theme may seem to be a form of limitation placed on the creative process, but for those in the Pauls Valley arts scene, those similarities will feed instead of inhibit what makes their work unique.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy Trash in Fashion Team recycles for fashion

    Art in some ways can always involve taking an otherwise cast aside object and giving it new use, but for three Pauls Valley business owners, it’s also a chance encourage environmental responsibility in others.

    March 20, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy Rick Shreve SORC like home for 40 year employee

    Being a part of the atmosphere at the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center has certainly been a challenge in the last few years alone, but for one employee, it’s just one of many chapters in a proud 40 year relationship.

    March 13, 2012 1 Photo

  • Noteworthy Jordan Henderson Minister Ministry great change of pace for youth pastor

    Keeping the flow of ministry going in any community not only requires contributions from every member of the congregation, but encouraging focus to be picked up and carried by on by each new generation.

    March 6, 2012 1 Photo

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Stocks
Facebook