On Sunday, March 10th, Huntingdon’s historic First Presbyterian Church (USA) celebrated the re-dedication of their church’s sanctuary, after nearly a one-year absence due to weather-related damage to the infrastructure. After finding extensive damage, following last spring’s heavy rains, worship services had been moved to the Fellowship Hall. The congregation is, once again, able to worship in their 110-year-old church sanctuary, located at the corner of East Main Street and Fourth Avenue.
The morning began with “brunch and coffee,” hosted by the church’s deacons, that provided an extra period of fellowship. Former church members traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania to participate in this event of celebration.
“Thank you to all those who have and continue to pray, and thank God for answering our prayers,” said Pastor Arthur Lodge.
In what some would call an eclectic mix, but rather is indicative of our community that we call Carroll County, the Presbyterian congregation was joined by the congregation from Tate Chapel Pentecostal Church, who had cancelled the worship service at their church to worship with the Presbyterians.
Rev. Lodge commented that “Our community is a special place where there is an increased sense of awareness. People know their neighbors, look out after their neighbors, laugh with their neighbors, and cry with their neighbors. Today, we are worshipping God with our neighbors!”
Addressing the congregations, were Carroll County Mayor Joseph Butler and Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley. Both commented on the Presbyterian Church being an historic landmark in the Town of Huntingdon for over 100 years.
Mayor Kelley commented on the personal joy he felt, as he was able to watch the re-construction progress from his office, across the street.
Mayor Butler commented that the Presbyterian Church has stood on the hill, for generations, as a place of hope, faith, and charity.
“It was my great honor to be with the First Presbyterian Church of Huntingdon, and to participate in their rededication service,” he said. “A year of faithful service, sacrificial giving, and countless hours of work have helped rebuild and restore one of the most beautiful buildings in Carroll County. No doubt the Carpenter’s Son is beaming with pride in Heaven. I’m thankful for the brothers and sisters there, and know God has been glorified through this incredible work.”
Celebratory comments and greetings were also presented by dignitaries from the Presbytery of the Mid-South, including Audrey Toombs, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery, which includes all Presbyterian (USA) churches in western Tennessee and the boot hill region of Missouri. Joseph Hoyle, Presbytery Moderator and Ruling Elder from Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Memphis, and Lucy Cummings, Executive Director of Pinecrest Camp and Conference Center were also in attendance.
The ruling elders, deacons, and pastor are grateful for the community support, including local businesses and Town of Huntingdon, for their assistance and understanding, during this lengthy re-construction and repair process. Congregant Mary Bailey Parker summed up everyone’s feelings, “What a wonderful service and celebration!”