Centennial tribute to religion, annual Thanksgiving service will be Saturday, Nov. 22
By Sarah Gove
A Centennial tribute to the history of religion in Evans County will be held in conjunction with Evans County’s annual community Thanksgiving service, “Claxton Prays” on Saturday, November 22, at the Evans County Wildlife Club beginning at 4:30 p.m. with a pancake and sausage supper. The program will commence at 6 p.m.
“We’re just trying to bring all the churches in the county together,” said Greg Hendrix, chair of the Centennial religion sub-committee. Over the last year, Hendrix has marked every church and cemetery in Evans County. “I’ve taken a county map and located every church that can be found,” he said. A county map and legend pinpointing each church will be on display Saturday.
Hendrix documented 51 churches and 40 cemeteries in Evans County. Centennial Steering Committee member Curt Hames has photographed every church. All of Hames’ photos will be on display as well, Hendrix says.
Event organizers have encouraged local churches to set up historical displays at the Wildlife Club. “We’ve asked the churches, as many that will, to bring history on their churches … to show the people how important religion was to the founding of this county,” Hendrix said. A Centennial church quilt assembled earlier this year will also be on display.
The program will pay tribute to the history of the churches founded in Evans County and highlight how religion has shaped this community over the last 100 years. A variety of gospel singing groups, church choirs and guest speakers will participate in the service. Local musical talents include: Gig Naeve from First Baptist Church, Kindred Spirit gospel group and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
Several local ministers will speak as well including James Bradley, pastor of Trinity Church of the Nazarene; Jake Futch, pastor of Claxton Progressive Primitive Baptist Church; Dr. Matt Brady, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church and Dr. Tab Smith of Tab Smith Ministries. Other speakers for the program are retired Marine Sgt. Jason Oliver and Harold Thompson of Rehoboth Baptist Church representing the Gideons. Military service dog, Rico, will assist Oliver in his presentation.
Rommie Kirkland will lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance and the Marine Color Guard will conduct the posting of colors. Hagan Temple’s Young Women for Christ will perform a skit. To conclude the program, Centennial Committee member Darin McCoy will provide the closing remarks.
The Centennial Committee has compiled a booklet containing approximately 30 histories of Evans County churches. The booklet titled, “History of Evans County Churches” will be available for purchase and also contains a listing of Evans County cemeteries.
The cost for the pancake and sausage supper is $5 per person and the proceeds will be donated to a local ministry. Attendees are asked to bring a canned food item or non-perishable food item to be donated to the Evans County Christian Food Bank.
The annual event is organized and sponsored by the Evans County Wildlife Club, The Chamber of Commerce, Evans County Centennial Committee and a number of local businesses, churches and citizens.
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