Church celebrates 15-year anniversary

St. James Missionary Baptist Church just celebrated their 15-year anniversary in grand style.

Church celebrates 15-year anniversary
March 28
05:00 2019

St. James Missionary Baptist Church just celebrated their 15-year anniversary in grand style by holding a gala at the Village Inn Event Center in Clemmons this past Sunday. 

St. James began on March 28, 2004, in a conference room at the Holiday Inn Express in Winston-Salem. They started with 46 members, including Senior Pastor Mack H. L. McConnel. A month later the church was blessed with the building it currently resides at 3606 Ogburn Ave.

The theme for the evening was “Journey of God’s Faithfulness.”  The celebration included reflections and history of the church, an appetizing dinner, a dance routine, and a thoughtful sermon.

“We are just happy to have the opportunity to enjoy ourselves for 15 years and thank God for allowing us to have all of our guests to be with us here today,” said McConnel. “We are just glad that everything is just going according to God and we want to thank everyone that has helped us in His kingdom building.”

McConnel touched on the church’s humble beginnings inside of a hotel. He says there were so many of them, they were sent to another hotel to accommodate their numbers. Soon afterwards they were able to find their current location on Ogburn Ave. 

Another point emphasized during the celebration was the 17 members that have gone on to be with the Lord since the church began in 2004. McConnel said they wanted to honor those who are no longer here, because without them the church would not be where it is today.

Nicole Parsons, original member of the church and church secretary, said the anniversary was a time to celebrate, recognize the members past and present, and to reflect on where the church has come from over the past 15 years.

“Pastor McConnel gathered us and organized St. James and we have come a long way, so it was only right for us to celebrate these 15 years,” said Parsons. “We started out pretty good, but of course over the years, some members are gone on to be with the Lord and some who have advanced in their walk with Christ by going on to other places. 

“God just saw fit for St. James to stand and after 15 years, we are pretty proud,” she continued.

Pastor Robert L. Dikes Jr.’s sermon was entitled “You did the work, but God deserves the praise.”  His message to the congregation was that in due season they will reap if they “faint not.”  He said the next five years will test their faithfulness, but for St. James not to give up because God gives you breath; use it.

He told the church they will continue to grow, but will have to do it differently than how they approached the first 15 years.  “Keep doing the work of God and never stop giving God the praise,” Dikes said.

McConnel jokingly said if he is around 15 years from now, he would love to move into a larger structure that will allow them to do the will of God on a bigger stage. 

“I just pray to God that He just keeps us growing the way we are and if everything works out, we should be in a structure we consider as our own,” said McConnel.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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