Washington church to celebrate 100 years in same location

Published 7:49 pm Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Washington church is celebrating 100 years of service at one location on Sunday.

First Baptist Church in Washington has been in service since 1822 — but it’s stood tall at Harvey and Main streets since 1917, marking an entire century of God’s service.

Greg Barmer, minister of music at First Baptist Church, said the celebration is a time of reflection. It will offer the church and its members time to slow down, take a break and praise God for his work through 100 years.

“We today, I think our lives are so rich and full and busy, we fail to recognize God’s work, God’s presence and God’s voice. This gives us an occasion to do just that — press pause,” Barmer said.

The church will hold its Centennial Celebration on Sunday. There will be a single service at 11 a.m. They will recite history using historic displays and memorabilia, and then gather for a feast, or “dinner on the rounds,” Barmer said.

“In one way, it will be simple. It’s an old-fashioned homecoming,” Barmer said.

Barmer said it’s a celebration for the young and the old — a chance for both new and old members to connect and enjoy one another’s company.

“It’s an occasion for friends and family and former members to come back and just come together in one time and one place. That doesn’t happen enough,” Barmer said.

Barmer has been a member of the church for more than two decades — 22 years to be exact — and said it has been just like family for him. He said he is looking forward to Sunday because it will not only be a celebration of 100 years, but also a celebration of what the church has meant to him over the years.

“This church is my family. It is my home. Many of us feel that way. This family has been Christ to me and family,” Barmer said. “We celebrate those kinds of things.”