First Baptist Church, Ware Shoals, will celebrate its 100th anniversary with special services scheduled Oct. 19.
Founded in 1908, First Baptist has had 16 pastors. Leon Jones is the current pastor. The two surviving former pastors will lead in the special two-hour service at 10 a.m.
Dan Compton, who served as pastor of First Baptist from 1976 to 1985, now lives in Laurens and serves as chaplain and bereavement coordinator of Hospice of Laurens County. He is a native of Greenwood.
Floyd Parker, a Marion native now residing in Greenville, was pastor of the church from 1985 to 1995. He currently serves as president of Teleios Ministry, which focuses on applying the gospel to everyday life.
The service will include a video on the church’s first 100 years. A church-wide meal will follow at the Hodges National Guard Armory on U.S. 25 South.
First Baptist was organized with 50 charter members. The first church building was a simple wood frame structure that gave way to the current sanctuary, which was built in 1939 at a cost of $40,000. A three-story educational wing was added a decade later.
At least 14 members of the First Baptist family have been ordained into the ministry, with two members who grew up in the church in the 1960s currently serving as full-time missionaries. Always a missions-oriented congregation, the church has given more than $1 million to the Cooperative Program and also helped establish nearby Calvary Baptist Church as a mission in 1952.