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Angel Visit Baptist Church to recapture traditions

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Angel Visit Baptist Church homecoming, circa 1970.

Angel Visit Baptist Church at Dunnsville will hold its annual homecoming service on Sunday, August 9, at 11 a.m. The theme is “Return to Your Roots: A Grand Homecoming Celebration.” Rev. Dr. Carla E. Lightfoot, church pastor, will preach.

Music will be provided by a special Homecoming Choir made up of present and former Angel Visit choir members. The choir will sing traditional songs that are reflective of church homecomings of bygone years.

Immediately following the worship service, dinner will be served in the William Amos Young Fellowship Hall and under tents on the grounds.

A special feature of the homecoming day will be a cemetery walk that will take place at 10 a.m. A brief history of the cemetery and tidbits about some of the persons buried there will be shared. The cemetery walk will be particularly relevant to persons who are interested in genealogy and family history. There will also be a display of vintage and recent photographs depicting the church’s history.

The worship experience will continue with revival services Monday, August 10, through Wednesday, August 12.  Services will start nightly with prayer and praise at 7 p.m. followed by a worship service at 7:30 p.m.

The special guests will be: August 10, Rev. Paul Pleasants, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church at Christchurch, with the choir, ushers and congregation of Calvary; August 11, Rev. Joy Carrington, pastor of Faith Temple AME Zion Church at Chesapeake, with the New Mt. Zion Senior Choir of Caret and ushers from Good Hope Baptist Church of Dunnsville; August 12, Rev. Calvin Rideau, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Saluda, with the choir, ushers and congregation of Immanuel.

Homecoming is an event that is heavily steeped in tradition. African-American church homecomings developed in response to the great migration of African Americans from the rural south to the urban north in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The church homecoming, called “Big Meeting” in some communities, provided a way to maintain a connection to one’s southern roots. Vacations would often be planned around the church homecoming, and it was not unusual for persons to take off the entire week of homecoming to attend Sunday services and stay for revival.

For further information, call Patricia Holmes at 804-443-9390.

posted 08.05.2009

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