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Ongoing construction of church topped off this week with new steeple

By By CLAUD HODGES;Senior Reporter
A new steeple signals for a new sanctuary’s doors to open soon at the Second Baptist Church west of Washington on U.S. Highway 264.
Two new combined parts with a cross on top of a three-part steeple were hoisted by a crane Tuesday afternoon toward their resting place atop their base, which is the steeple’s new third part, on the roof of the Second Baptist Church sanctuary under construction by contractor C.A. Lewis Inc.
The steeple is made of fiberglass and stands 67 feet from the ground to the top of the cross.
Construction of the sanctuary is planned for completion sometime from April 17-20. The congregation hopes to be able to enter the sanctuary on May 1.
Today, the congregation has 368 members, according to its minister, Dr. Phil Hayes. He said the church’s goal in the short term is to have 500 members.
Billy Braddy, vice-chairman of the building and grounds committee for the church, said the movement to build this addition to the church has been exciting and he is looking forward to seeing the church in the future.
The Second Baptist Church originated in a search in the summer of 1951 by the First Baptist Church of Washington for a suitable place to begin a mission Sunday school.
A committee of Hubert Edwards, Paul Waters, Merrill Daniels and Dorsey Welch found a place on East 10th Street in Washington in an empty store front and two rooms behind that.
That Sunday school building grew into the Nicholsonville Baptist Church, as it was organized into a duly constituted church on Oct. 25, 1953, with 41 charter members.
In the fall of 1956, the church changed names and became the Second Baptist Church.
All during and after these years, the church grew.
As the congregation got too large, it had to construct a building in another location, which is where the new steeple was installed Tuesday.
On Feb. 1, 1964, the Second Baptist Church had its first service in its new building on U.S. 264 west of Washington.