Purcell Church Now in New Building
Purcell Baptist Church has over 100 years of history. Thanks to a new church building, a dedicated core group of members and energetic pastor Jeff Miles, the small community church is looking forward to many more years of worship.
While a church is truly made up of the people who make up its membership and the beliefs each holds, there remains an important bond to the building such a congregation meets in each Sunday. This is as true with Purcell and its 30 members as it is with any larger church.
"I have a lot of fond memories here," member Brenda Batten recalled. "I walked down this aisle with my husband Gene when we got married in 1983."
"Not this aisle," Pastor Miles reminded playfully. "This aisle wasn't here then."
Like any other close group, the people of Purcell Church have bonds which are expressed with everything from unconditional love, gentle teasing, quiet concern and acceptance. These bonds were on full display as several members gathered to work at the new church building Monday.
While most of the construction is done, a few finishing touches are being made at the church, located six miles west of the old Knob road near Rector. The bulk of the work was done by Trent Payne of Corning, with church members lending a hand where possible.
"I can't say enough good things about Trent and the work he's done here," Pastor Miles said. "He's done an outstanding job. We encourage anyone to give him a call if they need work done."
The church would like to thank everyone who took part in fundraisers to help cover the expenses of construction. The new building also required new heating and cooling units, which events such as the recent supper and auction event at the Rector Community Center helped provide.
While the members have many fond memories of the former church building, even longtime members such as Rosey Akers and Arlene Montgomery can't contain their smiles as they walk around the new building.
"I just love this little church," Montgomery said. "That's why I'm still here. "
The former church building, which rested at the same site, had been in place for over 70 years. In the years since it was built, the building saw many happy occasions such as Batten's marriage, baptisms and fellowship. However, the years began to mount for the old building, which featured outdoor facilities for several years. Finally, the members of the church knew they would be better served by building a new church instead of constantly repairing the old building.
Though the building project started in early February, rain and cold weather limited work until March. Once underway, construction went smoothly. Now, the church is preparing for a special three day dedication service June 14-16.
"We're all happy to have this new building for our church," Miles said. "We're celebrating with a three day dedication service and would like to invite everyone to come out. The Holy Spirit will be moving here and we want to encourage everyone to be a part of it."
The church will have guest speakers at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15. Sunday's events will begin with guest speakers at 10 a.m. and will include a lunch serving. Also on Sunday, the Good News Singers will perform at 2 p.m.