Actually, only about thirteen for this writer. 1963 was the year Immanuel Baptist Church dedicated a new building on the corner of Nichols and Lafontiane in Springfield. The dedication of the facility is an early memory. Another event from the 1960’s was claiming salvation in Bible School in that same church. Rejection of God and return to Him took place there. Acceptance of a call to full time gospel ministry and licensing to that ministry was done by this church. Until graduation from Southwest Baptist College in 1976 this was home.
The one hundred year anniversary celebration was one of joy and tears for those who attended. As stated in a previous article your Examiner was there for some of the festivities. The fellowship and food was enjoyed Saturday in the Christian Life Center. Hot dogs, chili, cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn were some of the consumables that were provided by the Church.
The first person encountered was Brian the current music minister and an old friend from another church. He and his mother, brother and sisters were members at Hamlin, where your Examiner has spent most of his years since leaving Immanuel. Brian introduced the entertainment at other events that weekend and is a blessed addition to the church staff.
Mrs. Reese was there and greeted. She is known for serving in the nursery for over thirty years. In her nineties she seemed to remember the three Kensinger boys that used to roam the buildings during Sunday School, R.A.’s and Vacation Bible School. Debbie, Robert, Jack, Vickie and Gary were still there to reminisce about years gone by and times, both good and bad, that were shared.
Sam, Barbara, Theresa and Jacob were some former members that were attending and enjoyed photos that were provided by the current membership as well as some they and your Examiner brought.
Life at Immanuel in the sixties and seventies was not always roses. There were a number of thorns that surfaced in the mind. More of this celebration will be shared in future pieces. Subscribe to be sure not to miss any.