Sometimes when you hear the word "history" the next thought is "boring". Funny though, when you are getting to know people, it often helps to look back at where they've been to understand who they are today. It's pretty much the same with getting to know a church group.
Way back in 1881 we got our start as Burnsville Baptist Church, the first "Baptist" church in the village of Burnsville, Yancey County, North Carolina. A small group of Baptists living in the village decided a Christian influence was needed and set out to begin a church there. With only a handful of families and a pastor from neighboring Madison County who preached once a month, Burnsville Baptist Church was on the way! Those early years were both especially difficult and rewarding as the congregation slowly grew. The history says "About 1881 Reverend John Ammons accepted the invitation, and in thirteen months had succeeded to gather a membership of 17 and had built a church house at a cost of $1400.00 and had paid every dollar for the church building. On December 10, 1881, the church voted to pay Pastor Ammons $50.00 per year. As the church grew, participation in Mission work, Women's Missionary Union, children's work, and other activities became a vital part of the work of the church".
In the year 1944 another Baptist church came to the village so the present name "First Baptist Church" was constituted. Over the years there have been many changes, different buildings, different location, different pastors and leaders. But isn't it interesting, that through it all and well over 100 years later we are still building on the vision of those first dedicated folk. Even today, we join those who came before us in their vision long ago:
"As we continue to carry on the programs of our church, serve our community, give to missions at home and abroad, and teaching and leading our children and our youth may we catch a glimmer of the light on the cross that the "Faith of our Fathers" saw 100 years ago when Burnsville Baptist Church was begun."
Maybe history does repeat itself after all.