God’s word has always been the same, and for 175 years, Lower Macedonia Baptist Church has been teaching that word to the people in Chesterfield County.
Since the church was established in 1840, members have been reaching out the community to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
From the beginning, the church has offered “a variety of ministries in an effort to enhance the spiritual and physical lives of people and families in our area,” said Dr. Lindsey Powell, pastor of the church.
“We are a full-service church,” Powell said. “We have worship services, we have programs for the children, programs for the youth, programs for the adults. We really stress the spiritual needs of people and try to meet those needs. We also focus on the physical needs.”
He said the congregation has a food and clothing ministry. Members provide school supplies for children each year.
“Anything we can find to do for the community, we try to get involved in it,” he added.
Aside from those things, Powell said Lower Macedonia tries to teach the Bible and share God’s word with the people. Families are important to the church as well.
Church officials also try to direct those in emotional distress to the right people.
Pastoring at Lower Macedonia Baptist Church for 10 years, Powell said the focus is more on giving to others.
The outlook has changed. The congregation is engaged in an overall mission perspective, he explained.
“Giving is probably as much a change as anything else now,” he said. “We are trying to get beyond ourselves and on out into the world. Even beyond the community here.”
In its original location, Lower Macedonia has been remodeled and new construction has been added. A family life center and sports complex are now a part of the church.
It was organized with 23 charter members and built on one acre of land, donated by Peter Quick and William Turnage. The building was made from logs cut from the land. It was originally called Green Pond Mission Station but was changed in 1860 to Macedonia Mission Station in reference to the biblical account in Acts 16.
Serving the community for more than two decades, the original church building was burned during the Civil War as Sherman’s army marched through this area. Many important church documents were destroyed.
The church was rebuilt in 1870.
The church joined the Welsh Neck Baptist Association in 1869 and the name was changed again to Macedonia Baptist Church. It joined the Chesterfield Baptist Association in 1896. There was already a Macedonia Baptist Church in that association, so the church has been known as Lower Macedonia Baptist Church ever since.
A new building was started in 1910 — a plain wooden 35-by-40-foot building with a 6-foot tower on top. It was completed in 1911. It had homemade pews that could seat 100 people, a plain wooden floor and a pot-bellied wood stove heating system.
Under the leadership of the Rev. Rommie Pearce, the church building was renovated in 1965. There was brick veneered with central heat and air.
Wanting to grow, the church purchased five acres of land in 1973 where a cemetery was established and named Lower Macedonia Memorial Gardens.
The church grew even bigger in 1989 after purchasing 79 acres of adjacent land, where the family life center was built in 1998. It also now houses the sports complex, which is open to the community for use.
A day care ministry was also established in 1998. The church has blessed many people over the years, Powell said, and the congregation is now debt-free.
The church has held the dramatization of the Last Supper for the past 16 years during Easter season.
Powell welcomes everyone to go out and worship and fellowship with the congregation on Sunday, Oct. 11, as church members celebrate their 175th anniversary. There will be a history presented during the regular morning worship service, which starts at 10:50 a.m. There will be a meal prepared by the men of the church and served by the ladies of the church family. They will also host a gospel sing that evening.
Everyone in the community is invited to the anniversary services, which will focus on the past, present and future of the church.
Reach Maria D. Grandy at 843-537-5261.