FRANKLIN–Blackjack Baptist Church in Franklin celebrated its 150th anniversary on Sept. 10 with guest speakers, a special service, and dinner on the grounds.
Rock Howerton, regional consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, attended as well as Representative Wilson Stone and Jim Henderson, Simpson County Judge Executive. Church historian Hallie Gomer presented a short history of the church, and Wilbur Powell, director of missions for Simpson Baptist Association, preached.
The church’s long history in the community began under the name New Union Church in 1867 with 25 charter members. In 1894, a “spiritual reawakening” began and included 130 professions of faith. Although originally owned by Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, over time the other two congregations disbanded, leaving the Baptists as sole owners. In 1978, the church was reestablished under the name Blackjack Baptist Church.
During the homecoming celebration, church members stood together and prayed: “Our Father, we come at this 150th anniversary to rededicate this land and buildings to the furtherance of your kingdom. We praise you for making this possible. We honor all those who have given through the years.” And, they showcased the church’s heart for service.
The church’s pastor, Winston Roberts, and his wife, Judy, have been in the pastorate for more than 25 years. In addition, church historian Gomer has been a member for 67 years. Other longstanding members include Gomer’s husband, Robert, and Glen Mayes.
Hallie Gomer explained that when she got married, her husband was a member at Blackjack and that is where they have been ever since. “So, he’s 88 and I’m 86 and we’re still able to go on Sundays,” Gomer, an active senior citizens Sunday School teacher, explained. She also still takes it upon herself to be the church historian, although she’s grooming someone else to take over the role.
Gomer, who has been a Christian since she was 9, added, “My favorite thing about the church, I would say, is the Christian fellowship.” (WR)