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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Bainbridge CC to celebrate 150th anniversary

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Banner Graphic/JAMIE BARRAND Members of Bainbridge Christian Church (from left) Madonna Elliott, Sally Miller, John Kessinger, Linda Hartman, Margaret Kessinger, Susie Ferrand and Chyril Hoke prepare to celebrate the church's 150th anniversary Sunday by celebrating its origins.
BAINBRIDGE -- The Bainbridge Christian Church has 150 reasons to celebrate this weekend.

At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the church will be celebrating its 150th anniversary with a time of worship celebrating the origins of the church.

In 1844, Higgins Lane moved to Bainbridge from Kentucky. He was a Christian who was a part of a new movement that had arisen from the Cane Ridge Revivals that began in 1801.

This movement was different in that it attracted people from a wide variety of backgrounds to participate in a new movement that was labeled as "The Restoration Movement." These believers often referred to themselves merely as Christians or Disciples, choosing to avoid labels that had been assigned to different groups by their leaders, founders, creeds or doctrines.

Lane began worshiping at the nearby Somerset Christian Church, but felt that the town of Bainbridge, which had been plotted in 1831, would benefit from the presence of a similar church.

Lane owned property just south of town and, along with a group of fellow believers, formed a charter for the new church in 1859. Shortly after the charter was formed, Mr. Lane volunteered lumber from his farm to be used in the construction of the new church.

The church building was erected shortly afterwards and one of the leaders of the Restoration Movement attended in 1860, delivering a message and praising the new "commodious house of worship."

In the beginning, the church building (which was 10 feet farther to the west on the current property) was arranged quite differently. Men and women entered and were seated on opposite sides of the sanctuary, and the sanctuary was heated by the use of two wood stoves.

This early period of the church's history will be depicted and celebrated during Sunday's ceremony. Fourth-generation church member and church historian Vera English has written a skit about the early church.

The play will feature a number of scenes. The first will feature men of the church coming together and making the decision to found the church. Next, women of the community will discuss things they can do to help the men with the financing and building of the church.

Finally, a traveling preacher will come riding in to deliver a short sermon.

"We practiced the other night, and it was really funny and really good," English said of the actors' performances.

Not only will the actors and actresses be performing scenes of the early church's history, they will also be dressed in clothing of the period. The Putnam County Playhouse has loaned BCC a number of outfits for the skit, and women of the church have also made bonnets accurate to the period.

There will also be a time of singing, with old hymns for both adults and children.

Over the years a great deal has changed at Bainbridge. A new sanctuary was constructed on the property, a basement added, and educational rooms were built on. Changes have continued over the years, which include improvements to the building itself. A baptistry was added, windows replaced, and air conditioning added. Sound equipment, and other additions were made to the building.

However, there is one thing that remains as important at Bainbridge today as it did when it was organized and founded. The people of the church make Bainbridge Christian Church a unique place.

It is those people who will truly be celebrated on Sunday. A picnic following the service will give church and community members a chance for refreshment and fellowship. A time for fun and reflection will also come with pictures and items from the history of the church on display.

The entire community is invited to come out and meet the people who make Bainbridge Christian Church a special place. The church is located at 403 Washington St.

There will be no morning service on Sunday.

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