Local Church Celebrates 100 Years

8:50 PM, May 19, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Sunday is a day of worship for most in the Midlands, but this Sunday was a special celebration for Bethlehem Baptist Church.

"I was born in Bethlehem, raised in Bethlehem, baptized in Bethlehem, married in Bethlehem and my first child was blessed in Bethlehem," Berneice Thomas said.

For Thomas, being a member at Bethlehem Baptist Church is a family affair.

And in just two generations, her family can trace the beginnings of the ministry.

"My mother was here with our founder, Sarah Smith," Thomas said. 

Even with Bethlehem Baptist being active for so long, their list of pastors is short.

"That's somewhat unusual for a church. Often times a church goes through a number of pastors and I think longevity and stability is something to be said for that," Pastor Charles DeLaughter said.

Thomas has seen the church under different leadership, but gives the current pastor rave reviews.

"If I start talking to you about my pastor, you're going to run out of tape," Thomas said. "You have a teacher who knows the word and who will give the word and will make sure that you understand the word."

DeLaughter has been on the pulpit for 27 years.

And while watching the church grow, he's seen what some call a rough part of town develop as well.  

"We are obligated to impact our neighborhood, stabilizing our neighborhood, bring the crime rate down, meeting some basic needs of individuals," DeLaughter said.

Even though Bethlehem has been flourishing for the past 100 years, the work is never done. 

"Growth in Christ is a continuous thing, it doesn't stop," Thomas said.   

Sunday's sermon was the end of the week-long celebration for Bethlehem Baptist's centennial year.

Most Watched Videos