Church celebrates huge milestone

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For 140 years, First Baptist Church has been a fixture in the Christian Community that is Madisonville.

Church members celebrated this anniversary on Sunday.

Joshua Crutchfield, pastor since May 2016, said the church has

The church is growing and exciting its got a great culture and history blended as far as age goes, we have people who have been here as long as 70 years ago and some that have been here since 70 days ago.

For 96-year-old Maidie Madole, the church has been a huge part of her family for more than 70 years.

Maidie is described as the oldest active member of the church, and was church secretary for 34 years — the first one the church ever had. She also taught Sunday school for people of every age.

“Ever since I’ve been in the world, this church was a part of it,” she said. “We made sure we all went to church.”

Maidie and her brother were married in the church parsonage — a rare double wedding.

Her daughter Brenda Hill, the church organist for 60 years, said she can’t remember a time when the church was not part of her life.

“I grew up in a Christian home,” Hill said. “I don’t ever remember saying I don’t want to go to church.”

Crutchfield said there’s always challenges taking over a church that has been established as long as First Baptist Church has.

“My priority has not been to make the church different than what it is, but to love the church and shepherd it in the way God has called me to, and it’s been great,” he said.

For the future, Crutchfield said he would like to see the church be a larger reflection of the community.

“I want to be a church that is multicultural in a lot of ways, we want to see variations as far as age, we want to see variations as far as race, variations as far as social and economic status,” he said. “I’m thankful to have had that opportunity.”

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