Many organizations celebrate 25, 50, or even 100 year anniversaries. But a local Missouri church is marking 175 years in the Hannibal community.
The Fifth Street Baptist Church celebrated its 175th anniversary Sunday You don't often see this many people at the church in an early afternoon, but this isn't just any ordinary Sunday. In addition to prayers and hymns that most members already know, Devan Carty says parts of this ceremony surprised her.
"Probably the history section. A lot of that I wasn't even aware of," Carty said.
Eight people started what is now known as Fifth Street Baptist in 1837. The church brought up former Reverends to say a few words, but there were times some people got choked up.
"When Dr. Sneed called one of our former members on the phone so that was kind of emotional for all of us, especially since he won't be able to make it back so we won't see him until heaven," said Carty.
Kate Kotlin has only been a member for a couple months, but like Carty, she also didn't know how much history was in this church.
"I'm pretty amazed that the heritage has been for so long and the amount of people being affected in the Hannibal area. I did not realize all that," Kotlin said.
175 years seems like a lot but it's even more impressive when you put it into perspective. Missouri has only been a state for 16 years. The U.S. President was Martin Van Buren and the Civil War was still more than 20 years away.
Larry Craig who helped organize the ceremony said while it's great to look back on the past they have to look forward too.
"We're striving to look towards the future. We're making plans now and preparing ourselves to hold a revival in April. Not only to revive ourselves individually but to revive ourselves collectively," he said.
The church location had bounced around for the first 60 years before finally settling on Fifth Street in 1893.
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