Petal church nearing 100 years of service

Petal church closing ion on 100th anniversary
Published: Jun. 25, 2023 at 11:25 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Nearly a hundred years have passed since Mars Hill Baptist Church in Petal opened its doors.

“People made us feel welcome then, and we try to make people feel welcome today,” said James Patterson, who’s been a deacon at the church for 35 years.

The church will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sunday, July 16.

Services begin at 9:30 a.m., with meals to follow.

The church started out as a schoolhouse on July 7, 1923, before eventually expanding into what it is today.

“[It] started out with seven charter members,” said pastor Craig Cluff. “I think in about 1928, they had a revival, and they added about 26 members in one night. And that was probably the biggest growth that they had during that time.”

Since opening, the church has been a sanctuary for any and everyone in the community.

“I came one Sunday morning, felt the love, and been here ever since,” said long-time member Belinda McDonald.

The church, initially comprised of a small congregation, has expanded to over 100 members, making an even greater impact.

“We go on mission trips every year,” McDonald said. “We do all kinds of things to get the children involved in the church, and it’s an awesome church. Everybody feels loved, I believe, when they come in here.”

Some things may have changed a hundred years later, but one thing stays the same.

“Our mission is to spread the love of Jesus Christ and to let them know that Jesus saves and we want to be that vessel,” Cluff said. “We want to be that light for others to see.”

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