2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Smith (39th), Chism
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE DILIGENCE OF THE PASTORS AND MEMBERSHIP OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI, UPON THE OCCASION OF THE CHURCH'S 175TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY AND EXTENDING WARMEST WISHES FOR CONTINUED PROSPERITY, SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
WHEREAS, First Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi, organized in 1832, marks a milestone in its history as it, in a year-long celebration, reflects upon its rich legacy of 175 years with homecoming weekend scheduled on Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7, 2007; and
WHEREAS, while meeting in the Masonic Temple under the leadership of Dr. George Tucker, it purchased the property on 7th Street and 2nd Avenue North and began building the church on this site in 1838, with completion in 1840; and
WHEREAS, for the next 68 years, this sanctuary was a beacon in the city, having contributed both spiritually and culturally by promoting the love of God and community; and
WHEREAS, in 1908, being inadequate to meet the needs of the current membership, the building was razed and replaced with the present church. In 1960 and 1979, renovations were made to improve the facility; and
WHEREAS, in 2006, the congregation voted to purchase 80 acres of land north of the downtown location on which to build facilities adequate to meet the present-day needs; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, the congregation again voted in favor of beginning PHASE ONE, the approval of the architectural plans for the new campus on Bluecutt Road; and
WHEREAS, under the leadership of 30 spirit-filled pastors, First Baptist Church has continued to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the community, the county, the state, the nation and the world. The list of First Baptist Church pastors reads like a roll call of Southern Baptist leaders: 1844-1846 - William Cary Crane, President of Baylor University;
1848-1849 - Issac Taylor Tichenor, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, founder, President of Auburn University, Home Mission Board leader; 1858-1863 - Thomas Cox Teasdale, personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Southern Baptist Convention Sunday School Board member, evangelist; 1879-1881 - Henry W. Battle, the pastor when the Southern Baptist Convention met at First Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi; 1912-1913 - J.B. Lawrence, author, head of Home Mission Board; 1917-1918 - T.J. Holcomb, Baptist Sunday School Board leader, Baptist Foundation executive; 1921-1947 - Jesse Dee Franks, organizer of Brotherhood, BSU and radio ministry locally and Baptist Seminary in Ruschelkon, Switzerland; 1947-1972 - Samuel R. Woodson, State Convention President, Southern Baptist Convention trustee, led FBC to its highest membership, started Fairview Church in East Columbus; 1974-1986 - Joe McKeever, served on Foreign Mission Board Search Committee, cartoonist and author of several books, began television ministry, led the church to construct the "Miracle" building in 1981, raising $256,401.00, on "Miracle Sunday," presently serving as Director of Missions of Greater New Orleans Association; 1987-2002 - Bobby Douglas, served on Mississippi Baptist Convention Education Committee, Order of Business Committee and Committee on Nominations, established the weekly Hour of Prayer ministry, established a local Inter-Racial Ministry Fellowship, promoted the FBC ministry to the elderly, presently serving as Director of Missions of the Mid-Delta Association of Mississippi; 2003-present - Shawn Parker, a dynamic preacher, leading the church in the expansion of a 24-hour, seven-day prayer ministry in the growth of membership and outreach ministries, also, leading the church in the purchase of land and in the planning of a new facility, served on the Adjunct Faculty of New Orleans Theological Seminary, on the Executive Committee of Louisiana Baptist Convention, also, of the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans, presently serving on the Resolutions Committee of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and on the Executive Committee of the Golden Triangle Baptist Association as the Lowndes County Cluster Leader; and
WHEREAS, the church's mission statement is based on Matthew 22:37-39, "Loving God, Loving Each Other, Loving Our World"; and
WHEREAS, First Baptist Church which has a legacy of helping others, near and far, who are in need spiritually, emotionally, physically or financially continues to practice this legacy through the following activities: Love-in-Deed, ESL (English as a Second Language), prison ministeries, Operation Christmas Child, Angel Tree, Christmas Store, Christmas Festival, School Prayer Walks, International Friendship House, Baptist Student Union meals, Kids Growing in Christ Mission, retirement and nursing home meetings, homebound ministry and visitation, youth mission trips, as well as, Women on Mission, women's ministry, Acteen children's mission projects and offerings; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to recognize such outstanding and contributory religious institutions as First Baptist Church which continues to be a vital part of the Columbus area:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the diligence of the pastors and membership of First Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi, upon the occasion of the church's 175th year anniversary and extend warmest wishes for continued prosperity, spiritual growth and success in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.