Spring Hill begins 151 anniversary celebration

Published 11:51 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

Pictured here in an undated photo are some members and leaders at Spring Hill Asa Church from years past. From left  in the front are Deacon Dewitt Boyles, Deacon Earl Tucker, Rev. Lacy Fox, Deacon Willie Harrison, Bro. Lawrence Burns, (back) Deacon L.B. Armstead, Bro. Lannie Boyles, and Deacon Eddie Wilson.

Photo submitted

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Spring Hill Asa Missionary Baptist Church will begin a three-week celebration of the church’s 151st anniversary Sunday with a special service dedicated to remembering the congregation’s history through musical presentations. There will be a celebratory banquet next Sunday, and the celebration will culminate next week, Oct. 21 with a full day of activities.

Spring Hill Asa was founded in 1867 by a small group of dedicated Christians who desired to see a church in their area.

Through the years the church has been a beacon of light in the community. The church has been led by several pastors through the years, including Jeff Mitchell, Nelson Parker, Daniel Jackson, Eddie Wilson, John Lott, R.L. Lola, Hudson Hubbert, D.Z. Jackson, E.W. Mack, W.M. Turner, and Bobby Gates.

Rev. J.N. Jude was named pastor in 1935 and served the congregation for 23 years. It was under his leadership that many former members returned to the church, and a parochial school was held in the church sanctuary.

The school grew and in 1947, Caldwell School was built on land deeded to the church by C.P. and Minnie Boyles. The first piano was purchased and a choir was organized under the leadership of Addie B. Thornton and Dewitt Boyles who served as president and choir director.

Rev. Cooper led the church a short time before Rev. Dandridge pastored the church until 1963, followed by Rev. Lacy Fox who preached there for 15 years.

Under Fox, a brick church building was constructed and dedicated in 1978. The new building was complete with a pastor’s study, three classrooms and a kitchen. Rev. W.L. Robinson accepted a call to pastor in December, 1978 and he added a midweek prayer meeting and a Monday night Bible study. The building also added central air and heat during this time.

Rev. Ydell Ishmon Jr., became pastor in 1979 and served 17 years. In his years of leadership a church organ was purchased and a radio ministry started in November, 1980, broadcast each week on WBLE 100.5 FM.

The church held  a note-burning service when the mortgage was retired in 1990. With the church paid in full, a baptistry was added in 1991 along with a fellowship hall and more classrooms.

An album of choir music and specials was released titled “The Spring Hill Asa Community Workshop” and a play was written and produced by Rev. Ishmon and directed by Blondie Brassell and Sharon Wilson.

The church today is under the leadership of Rev. Louis Wilson, Sr., who has served as pastor for 22 years. He is also serving his second term as president of the Congress of Christian Education.

The church parking lot was paved in 2003 and a full-time worship service began every Sunday in January, 2004. The steeple was erected in 2006. New pews and pulpit furniture were installed in May, 2013. A new copy machine, computer, and printer were purchased in 2015.

In 2017, Mattie Richardson Fox gifted the church a new piano.

The oldest member of the church, Zeppa Lee Wilson, died at age 107 in January of this year.

Many churches from Panola County and beyond have pledged their support for the anniversary celebration, and Pastor Wilson has cordially invited all who want to take part in the events to attend any of the three special Sunday services.