Sylvarena Baptist 125 years old
On Saturday morning, September 17, 1898, a small group of people met in the country school house (property west of current church parsonage) for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church to be a mission and fellowship forthe Lord Jesus Christ. The twenty-two charter members named the church Sylvarena which means “in the woods.”
One-hundred twenty-five years later, members of Sylvarena Baptist Church celebrated the occasion and the growth of the Church at their annual Homecoming Sunday worship service on September 10 at its current location at 1119 Old Sylvarena Road. The celebration featured Dr. Cody Warren, former Sylvarena Youth Minister, as speaker. A covered dish lunch followed the worship service.
Its charter members and the wealth of people who have also united with the Church over the years have paced its growth.
Services were held Saturday and Sunday once a month in the schoolhouse until the first building was built between 1898 and 1904. The first church building was dedicated Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1904. The church cemetery was begun in the first years of the church. According to church records, the first person buried in the cemetery was Benny Crawford, the son of Q.G. and Ophelia Crawford, in 1903. Fourteen charter members are buried in the cemetery.
Since those early days changes have been constant:
Further construction took place in 1910 when the building committee began work on the west side of the building. The building was dedicated in February, 1911. In 1947 or 1948, a baptistry and four Sunday School rooms were added to the back of the church.
In 1951, the church bought new pews and pulpit furniture. In 1959, the church built the annex, which is still used for a Sunday School room and ladies bible study area.
In 1969, the white church was brick-veneered. The floors were carpeted and the walls were painted blue. The pews were also padded at this time.
On August 6, 1972, the church voted to build a new pastorium which is currently in use today.
Groundbreaking was held September 25, 1994 for a new sanctuary with construction starting October 1.
The Dedication service for the new sanctuary was held June 4,1995.
Groundbreaking for a Family Life Center was held September, 2003.