The Ashland Beacon
More than 100 people of a great span of ages gathered together in Westwood for a celebration of marking 100 years since a group of Christians got together with a purpose of starting a mission that would reach people in Westwood for Jesus. They gathered with a spirit of worship and shared a vision for bringing the message of Jesus to this community. 100 years later to the day, Fairview Baptist Church gathered to worship, to remember, and celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness. They gathered to open a time capsule placed in the church 25 years ago. They gathered to look back, but to also look forward, a sentiment demonstrated on the T-shirt many members were wearing in honor of this incredible occasion.
Braun Ream, Fairview’s worship leader led the outdoor assembly in singing, ‘Victory in Jesus’ to start the service.
Church members shared their stories of being saved at Fairview, meeting spouses at Fairview, and being baptized at Fairview. The reflections they shared evoked laughter and a few tears as they remembered those who’d worked in the church during those 100 years. Most emotional were remembrances of those who’d gone on to their reward.
Newly appointed Pastor, Michael York shared memories from some of the members that spanned some of those early years. There were recollections of the time the church was where the fire department was, summer revivals, Vacation Bible School, Sunday Schools that taught young people about Jesus. “There are many memories and many life events that people have connected to their time at this church,” York stated, “we’re gathering not just to remember times here and people here, but the mission here. The church was started here because there were people here who needed Jesus.”
As he challenged the church with those Scriptures from the book of Joshua with the task of being careful and deliberate to never forget God’s faithfulness, God’s presence, and God’s power, the Pastor reminded them God’s work through the church has extended beyond their facility into their community and around the world. “We look to the future through the lens of the past,” York reminded them.
Dr. Brian Horton, Missional Strategist for the Greenup Baptist Association concluded the service with prayer.
Finally, church members walked across the campus to the main church where the men removed the plaque and pulled out the time capsule, a small box, and revealed the contents to the excited crowd. Within the box was a Bible, several artifacts from the 50s and 60s, church bulletins, a T-shirt, an old church directory, and more.
Just like that, a church centered on faithfulness begins their next 100 years of serving a community and sharing a message of hope and light to a people who’ve never needed hope and light more. Whatever the challenges that come with that pursuit, Fairview’s up for it. “We don’t want people to say Fairview is a great church, we want people to say Fairview has a great God,” concluded Pastor Michael York, and that’s why the next 100 years is already looking just as bright as the last.