(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The New Home Baptist Church celebrated its 142nd anniversary Sunday.
"It just warms my heart to be able to look back at all the service to god that happened in this church." Rev. Kevin Griffin, the pastor said.
Griffin said his church does an exceptional job of documenting over 14 decades of history. The church has been able to maintain many of its original documents such as log books from the very first meetings when the church was organized, as well as pictures of the original charter members of the church. The descendants of which are still with the church today.
Shirley Matthews is one of those descendants. As a lifelong member of the church, Matthews shared some of her early memories.
"I remember being carried in by my dad and mom," Matthews said. "He was a deacon and she played the piano."
In its early days, the Hyde School was the building for the church.
"Like Little House on the Prairie it was a school during the week and on the weekend, it was a church," Matthews said.
The church then moved to its current location along Hwy 59 replacing an old burned down sawmill, another fire burned the original building in 1982. The church rebuilt soon after and expanded in the early ’90s.
As for why the church picked their 142nd anniversary to celebrate, pastor Griffin explains,
"Originally we were under the impression that our 140th anniversary was this year," Griffin said. "As we began to prepare and research it dawned on us that it’s not 140 years, but 142 years."
No matter the exact number, the congregation says its still a significant milestone.
"The whole purpose of doing this is to study our past so we can be unified as we go forward in the future," Griffin said.
The church said it plans to be around for another 142 years.