First Freewill Baptist Church to celebrate 50th anniversary July 19

Community fish fry this Saturday, July 11

First Freewill Baptist Church (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – On Sunday, July 19, First Freewill Baptist Church will celebrate 50 years at its current location on St. Joseph Drive. Pastor Perry McCravy said previous pastors will speak at the 5 p.m. service, followed by a fellowship dinner. The church is located at 1008 St. Joseph Dr. NW, just north of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Church Secretary Linda Bryson shared some history of the church’s beginnings.

“You know, at the start, there was a lot of controversy over where it was located. A lot of people didn’t want it to be right in their back yards, so they had to move it to St. Joseph Drive,” she said.

The celebration was originally scheduled to take place in February, but unforeseen circumstances kept pushing it back.

When asked if she had any comments about the church’s milestone, Bryson simply said, “We’re just really proud of making it this far, and we’re proud to still be here.”

Though McCravy said he has not been with the church for a long time (he became the pastor just last year), he said he looks back on his time there with great pride.

“The church seems to be doing well,” he said. “We’ve reached out to some of the halfway houses to see if we can help. We know some people who are struggling through a rough patch in life, and we think some people have had some good come out of our work.”

He continued, “The Lord’s just really blessed us. We baptized three people this past Sunday, and we’ve got our community fish fry this Saturday at 4 p.m. We’re not a judgmental church – I’m definitely not in any place to judge or condemn people. We just ask people to come as they are and hear the good news with us.”

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Heather Mann