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Articles & Local History > Thomas Baptist Church Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary 1881-1931

Submitted by Bob Johnson

Dinner, Social Hour and Program Feature Meeting of Sunday, September 13

(Hand-written note: 1881-1931)

The fiftieth anniversary of the Thomas Baptist church was celebrated last Sunday. The morning service, conducted by Rev. A. W. LITTRELL, began at 11, and consisted of the sermon by Rev. LITTRELL; duet, Arthur KRAGER and Rev. LITRELL; and communion.

At noon a cafeteria dinner was served on the lawn after which a social time was enjoyed until 2 o'clock when the following program was given: Selection, Tampico Baptist orchestra, vocal duet, Mr. and Mrs. Charles KRAGER; offertory. Mrs. Mabel HANSEN; vocal selection "The Church by the Side of the Road"; The VANDUESEN Sisters, Nellie DABLER, Leona KRAGER, Hazel DABLER, Lillian HANSEN,  and Ruby STEERS; and anniversary sermon, Rev. R. E. CLEARWATERS; selection, orchestra.

Miss Esther SODERBERG gave the following history of the church: In January, 1881, a meeting was held in a home to consider plan of organizing and building a church, the meeting being attended by the following who became charter members  of the church: Mr. and Mrs. Gust. ANDERSON, Olaf JOHNSON, Mr. and Mrs. John  NYMAN, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew LINDAHL, John ERICKSON, Edward ERICKSON, Miss Betty ERICKSON, Nels PIERSON, Mr. and Mrs. J. CROSELL, Mrs. ANDERSON and William Anderson. The building lot was donated by Nels PIERSON and work was begun that spring, James HAMILTON, one of the community pioneers was the contractor who built the church. None of these charter members are living today, but we may well say that they laid a substantial foundation for us to build upon.

The first few years regular services were held with a pastor on the field, then for a number of years the Swedish Baptist church of Princeton took charge, their pastors giving as much time as possible to the work. The Ladies' Aid Society was organized and carried on for many years, the organized Sunday school was its principal activity. In 1910, the church was reorganized and named the Thomas Baptist church and of recent years, the Tampico and Manlius Baptist churches have been helping in keeping up the work. In the 50 years of the church's activities, there has been 61 ministers who have assisted in carrying on the work. During the past year, Rev. A. W. LITTRELL and his congregation of Manlius and Rev. R. E. CLEARWATERS and his people, of Tampico, have conducted services the first Sunday in each month.




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