Berea Christian Church celebrated its 175th anniversary on Sunday, May 22 with a special worship service and dinner on the grounds to follow. Hundreds came out Sunday to worship and fellowship together.
Established in 1841 down by the Red River near Adairville, this historic church was built on property donated by the Napoleon McCuddy family. The original church burned in 1852, but was rebuilt where it currently resides at 188 Berea Church Road off of 431 south.
“We are a family and we’re a tree. Our roots grow deep down in history. Rooted in the love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior,” said Becky McKinney, a lifetime member of the church. McKinney said her family has been going to Berea for three generations.
About 200 attended the service on Sunday. Red Oak Methodist and First Christian from Russelville cancelled their services to attend. Several people spoke at the service and there was a special presentation to Esther Kees from Martha Jane King for devoting over 50 years as church treasurer. Friends, family, and former pastors from Texas, Birmingham and Knoxville attended as well.
The church has a very rich history. Well-known minister Alexander Campbell preached at the church in the 1800’s. Campbell was a Scots-Irish immigrant who became an ordained minister in the United States and joined his father Thomas Campbell as a leader of a reform effort that is historically known as the Restoration Movement, and by some as the “Stone-Campbell Movement.” Campbell was influenced by similar efforts in Scotland, in particular, by James and Robert Haldane, who emphasized a return to original Christianity as found in the New Testament. In 1832, the group of reformers led by the Campbells merged with a similar movement that began under the leadership of Barton W. Stone in Kentucky.
Dan Lovell serves as interim pastor at Berea. He is a retired minister from Henderson, Ky.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.