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Salem First Baptist Church to Celebrate 175th Anniversary During Little Egypt Festival

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

Salem First Baptist Church will be celebrating a big milestone this weekend.  The church will celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the church, which was established in the fall of 1837.   The theme of the Anniversary Celebration is “Glancing gratefully to the past... looking prayerfully to the future”.  

Event Coordinator Jennifer Watson says they chose the Little Egypt Festival Weekend to celebrate their anniversary for several reasons.  “Our church was founded in the fall of 1832.  We chose this weekend because we thought if people are coming in from out of town, it would give them a nice opportunity to take in the festivities that Salem does for the Little Egypt Weekend as well as getting to spend some time with old friends and make some new friends as well”, said Watson.  

Watson says you can expect to see some members of the congregation in the Little Egypt Parade on Saturday as part of the celebration as well.  “We are going to be having a float in the Little Egypt Parade.  Our float will celebrate of 175 years, and we will have some of our youth walking with our float.  The theme for our float is going along with the heroic adventure theme with the parade, and it is called “Faith Heroes”.  So we'll have some of our youngsters walking along side our float handing out goodies”, said Watson.  

The church will be having an open house from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday during and after the parade with historical displays set up throughout the church.  An invitation has been extended to current members, former members of the church, and for anyone in the community who would like to attend.


On Sunday, October 7th, all Sunday School classes have been dismissed.  A Morning Fellowship will be held at 9:30 a.m in the church fellowship hall.  Morning worship will begin at 10:30 a.m., which is earlier than customary.  Illinois Baptist Association Executive Director Dr. Nate Adams has been invited to bring the message.  His sermon is entitled, "Where Do We Go From Here".  

There were plans for a Lunch on the Lawn immediately following morning worship, but due to the weather forecast the lunch will be moved inside the church.  Reservations are required for the lunch.  For more information on the festivities, contact event coordinator Jennifer Watson at 1-217-841-7143.  

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