Lexington—Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington celebrated 100 years of ministry Jan. 31.
A call to worship based on Psalm 126 was given through a recording of Clarence Walker, Ashland Avenue’s first pastor, who served for 50 years.
Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director, Paul Chitwood, delivered the keynote address. Heather Payne and Boyce College, the undergraduate school at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, provided music, and testimonies were shared.
Additionally, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Seminary, and David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, sent words of encouragement through video.
“God has made us chronological creatures. We think necessarily in terms of past, present and future. That’s why history is so important to us. That is why I am so honored to celebrate with Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, your 100th anniversary, past, present and future,” Mohler said.
“Few churches not only have the history of your church, but few actually have the intentionality in that history as well,” he continued. “There is a very clear identity to Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, committed from the very beginning to the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”
Ashland Avenue Church began in 1916 by members of First Baptist Church, Calvary, Porter Memorial and Felix Memorial. The new church began with 30 members, but quickly grew to 250 within the first five years. The church, which has only had five pastors, has planted a church in an unreached people group in Cordova, Peru.
“I praise God for 100 years of faithful ministry as a local church there in Lexington,” Platt said. “All glory be to God for the way He has led and guided this church, and how you have faithfully as a body of believers spread throughout generations held fast to the word of God and preached it and followed it and proclaimed it, not just there in Lexington, but the way this church has resounded to the glory of God far beyond Lexington,” Platt said.
He noted the church’s mission work as well as their “sacrificial giving” to the IMB.
David Prince, Ashland Avenue’s pastor for the past 13 years, said that for the next 100 years, “I hope that we are as faithful as the church has been in the past.” He exhorted members to stay focused on three things: a commitment to the Word, a commitment to God-centered worship, and a commitment to world missions.
Prince charged the congregation, “We want to keep planting churches, sending missionaries around the world, and keep trying to impact our city. We love Lexington, and we want to impact it for the sake of Christ.” (WR)