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Urbanna Baptist Church to celebrate 125th year

Urbanna Baptist Church invites friends in the community to join in celebrating its 125th anniversary and homecoming on November 10. The celebration will include a reenactment during the 11 a.m. service, a ham and oyster luncheon, and a tribute to the man who designed and built the local landmark in 1896.

According to Urbanna Baptist Church, 1888-2003, A Little Church with a Large Ministry, written by local resident and church member Evelyn Q. Ryland, the small congregation first met to begin organizing on November 11, 1888. Eight years later it had completed and occupied the central portion of the church that continues in use today.

A famous Baptist preacher in those days, Dr. William Elderidge Hatcher, was called in to deliver the first sermon in the new building. On November 10, reenactor Dr. Fred Anderson, executive director of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, will take on the role of Dr. Hatcher as part of the anniversary celebration.

The 1896 church was designed and built by Charles H. Palmer, a charter member who learned the carpentry trade while working for several years in New York state. He also built many of the Victorian homes in Urbanna. At 2 p.m., his contributions will be recalled by his great-grandson, Larry S. Chowning, who lives in Palmer’s house across the street from the church. A marble plaque in Palmer’s honor, to be erected in the old portion of the church, will be unveiled.

Everyone is welcome to participate in these events. Reservations for the luncheon should be made by calling the church office at 758-2720 or emailing before November 4. 

posted 10.23.2013

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