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Angel Visit Baptist continues celebration of sesquicentennial

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Descendants of founders of Angel Visit Baptist Church include, from left, James Gressie Segar, Clinton L. Beale, Martin Mitchell, and Michael Gresham. Mitchell, a resident of Oakland, California, visited Angel Visit last fall while in Virginia for a genealogy conference. He plans to return for the upcoming church festivities.

Angel Visit Baptist Church of Dunnsville is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016. Angel Visit was founded in 1866 by “colored” members of Ephesus Baptist Church, most of whom had been enslaved.

According to church pastor Dr. Carla E. Lightfoot, “This is an exciting time in the life of Angel Visit. We are grateful that God has allowed us to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone on before us.”

Sesquicentennial activities will include a banquet on Saturday, August 13, at 4 p.m. followed by an anniversary church service on Sunday, August 14, at 11 a.m. The banquet speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Andrew Jackson White, a King and Queen native whose father, Rev. Lilbon Trigg White, served as acting pastor of Angel Visit in 1929.

The preached word for the anniversary service will be delivered by Dr. Lightfoot. Music will be provided by Angel Visit “Voices of Praise.”

The founding pastor of Angel Visit was Rev. Washington Holmes. Other pastors of Angel Visit were Rev. Beverly Sparks, Rev. Augustus G. Bundy, Rev. Grant Haynes, Rev. William Yates, Rev. Dr. William Amos Young, Rev. Dr. Leo Cordell Wagner Jr., Rev. Dr. Theron D. Williams, and Rev. Dr. Vernon C. Crump III. Founding trustees were George Bird, James Corbin, Erastus Edwards, Griffin Garley, Peter Garrett, James Lewis, Anderson Lindsey, Carter Peterson, Isaac Pollard, Milton Taylor and William Tunstall. The first deacons were Anderson Lindsey, Milton Taylor, John Moody, Erastus Edwards, Lawrence Fauntleroy, Frank Young and Banks Bayton.

Angel Visit is hoping that descendants of its founders will participate in the sesquicentennial. “If you are descended from, otherwise related to, or have information about either of the above-named persons or other Angel Visit founders/early members, please contact the church,” said Dr. Lightfoot.

The public is invited to join Angel Visit in its sesquicentennial activities. Banquet tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for ages 12 and under. To purchase banquet tickets or for more information, call Patricia Holmes at 804-443-9390.

posted 07.27.2016

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