“It’s exciting because one church staying together for 100 years is not heard of anymore — being together for that long,” said Butch Cole, pastor of Mount Pisgah Baptist. “It’s just a huge blessing.
“You really can’t put into words — it’s just a wonderful group of people that love the Lord, just working for a good cause. You just feel the love in the whole church.”
On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Mount Pisgah Baptist will mark its centennial with a worship service featuring special singing by Sally Jones and the Larry Gentry Family.
According to church records, “Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church located on Kingston Highway 293, Cartersville, GA, was established in 1913, for a small community that at that time was called Caves, GA. The community had its own Post Office, and the people were either farmers, saw millers or worked at the lime kiln, or Gaines Mill, which was a large flour and corn mill that had its own railroad spur to transport grain in, and flour and meal out.
“There was no church or school except for in Kingston or Cassville, which in either case was several miles away. Though the people of Caves had no organized church or building, they were committed to God and to the worship of God. So just prior to 1913, they began to have revival meetings and regular worship services in a busharbor. After some time had past, they got together and built a church building just to the east side of the present building site,” adding Mount Pisgah Baptist’s charter members included John C. and Rachel Cowart Law, W.J. Gibbs, Hiram F. and Adeline Cochran Cowart, John Cowart, Mrs. S.J. Gibbs, Eugene and Lillian Edwards Cowart and Bryan Gibbs.
Prior to Cole joining the church three years ago, Mount Pisgah Baptist was shepherded by more than 15 pastors, some of whom were C.A. Neal, M.W. Hart, H.C. Cowart, A.C. Cowart, Ralph Kimsey, Oscar Ladd, Buddy York, Emanuel Shook, Lawrence Pinson, Glenn Boatner, Hubert Woodward, Hiram Mulkey, E.C. Chatham, Donald Collum, David J. Baker, Randy Jackson and Ralph Shook.
“The first church, [after] it was built got blown away in the tornado that happened on March 21, 1932,” said Joel Mauldin, chairman of Mount Pisgah Baptist’s board of deacons and a member of the church for about 48 years. “It was totally destroyed. In fact, I went down to the Bartow [History] Museum and pulled the paper ... for March 21, 1932, and it gives full accounts of what took place and how many people were killed and hurt.
“... They built it back immediately after it was blown away. Then in 1998 we tore the second church down and built our new church in the same location, same place and we have expanded. ... There’s [now] a 100-foot-long fellowship hall [and a] huge kitchen. ... [This church has] truly meant everything to us. There’s been many a family that has grown up in the church,” he said, adding the church averages between 125 to 150 people in attendance each week. “Over the years, we certainly have reaped some good rewards from the families that grew up in the church.”
After Sunday’s worship service, those in attendance will gather for lunch and view a video presentation and items pertaining to the church’s past.
“Everybody has worked really hard [preparing for this celebration],” Mauldin said. “We have certainly sent out special invitations to all of our living former pastors. ... So we’re hoping that lots of them get to come. ... [After the service], in our fellowship hall, we will have a large screen TV set up with all kind of pictures and so forth of memories of the past.
“It has been exciting for me and [my] family, all of us really, because we went back and we actually found the first minutes of the church the day that it was established,” he said, referring to Nov. 16, 1913. “We’ve got all of those old-type records that will be able to be on display.”
Along with welcoming back its former pastors, Mount Pisgah’s congregation also is extending an invitation to the community to celebrate the church’s milestone Sunday. The church is situated at 465 Highway 293, Cartersville.