Hopkinsville church turns 175

Originally published in Western Recorder –www.westernrecorder.org

Hopkinsville—Kelly Baptist Church in Hopkinsville is celebrating its 175th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 10:30 a.m.

The morning will consist of former pastors, youth pastors and music directors being recognized as well as two former members who were ordained into the ministry and are now pastors elsewhere.

A history of the church in book form will be available and a presentation of old pictures will be shown. Additionally, a plaque commemorating the church’s foundation in 1841 will be presented and eventually hung in the building.

“Kelly Baptist Church is a very missions-minded church. We have supported missions and church plants throughout the years,” Pastor Phillip Brumfield, who is working on his 15th year at Kelly Baptist, said. “They are a giving church, and God has blessed us because of that.”

Harold Lancaster, a deacon at Kelly Baptist, has been a member for more than 60 years. “I came to Kelly because we had a young pastor who was about two or three years older than I was, and he came to visit my family. I just fell in love with it. Eventually the whole family came to Kelly and we’ve been here ever since,” he shared. “I’ve seen many lost souls won to Christ through Kelly Baptist. This is my home church.”

I love my church and I love my pastor,” he continued. “I’ve always said there’s three things you can’t talk about. The first is my wife. The second is my church, and the last is my pastor.”

Kelly Baptist was organized on Oct. 23, 1841 as Mt. Zoar Baptist Church; the name changed in 1935. The church has met in its current building since 1969. In more recent years the church has been given the deed to its property—something that they did not have for many years—and is helping to plant other churches, including Life Community Church in Owensboro.

“Kelly Baptist is a wonderful place to worship,” Teresa Petsch, a member of the anniversary committee, said. “I was away from the community and this church for 30 years. I returned a little less than four years ago, and from the moment I walked back into the door, I felt like I had returned to home and family. Many times I’ve heard people describe our church that way, even if they weren’t born and raised here.

“We are all very excited about our homecoming/175th anniversary celebration,” Petsch said. “Church homecomings are always such a wonderful time to reconnect with old friends, and we hope this year to welcome lots of visitors to a beautiful day of worship and fellowship.”

Brumfield concluded, “I think the goal of the next 175 years is to always certainly be faithful to, stand on His word and proclaim it. Hopefully, we reach a generation of people and love them. We are a very loving church and we hope to reach people where they are.” (WR)