By Carol A. Gasser Moore
LAKELAND, Georgia – Remembering an amazing legacy of service and friendship, New Bryant Missionary Baptist Church is commemorating 151 years on Sunday, November 8th. Members of the congregation will hold “Anniversary Sunday Celebration” at 9:00 a.m. outside of the church located at 76 E. Mill St., Lakeland in a kind of drive-up car service.
Originally, this local church was founded by Charles Knight. It is the largest Missionary Baptist Church within the city of Lakeland that has continuously served this community of Christians. The church formed when it separated from St. Lewis Missionary Baptist Church. The St. Lewis Missionary Baptist Church is the largest unceasingly activate church within Lanier County. For readers unfamiliar with the Missionary Baptist Church, it is a Protestant denomination with distinct beliefs about the identity of the church. Missionary Baptists teach that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and cannot be obtained through good works, baptism or through any other method.
New Bryant Missionary Baptist Church, was established in 1869. This fact alone calls for recognition and reflection on the heritage of this church – its history and the members of the congregation. Last year, New Bryant Church members celebrated their church’s 150th anniversary on the 2nd second Sunday in October. October is the more historically correct time of year for the celebration.
During the early 19th century, Missionary Baptists were a group of Baptists that grew out of the missionary or anti-missionary controversy that divided Baptists in the United States, with Missionary Baptists following the pro-missions movement position. Anti-missions or Primitive Baptists were those who opposed the innovations. Some sources indicate that Missionary Baptists influence brought the decline of Primitive Baptists. Missionary Baptists became the mainstream Protestants.
New Bryant Missionary Church and its foresighted membership have always been a part of Lakeland’s religious, educational, and political leadership.
Interim Pastor Daniel Sirmans will lead the anniversary service.
Since the coronavirus concerns became a part of everyone’s daily life, New Bryant Missionary Baptist Church has provided conference calls and drive-up services at the church. On the 4th and 5th (if there is a 5th) Sunday of every month, Pastor Sirmans leads worshipers out in the open with people sitting in their cars as they listen to his inspired word. Phone inquiries can be made to: 229-482-3806.
Known throughout Lakeland and Lanier County, New Bryant Missionary Baptist Church is revered for its dedicated service to our community and its role in citizens accepting Christ as their Savior and dedicating themselves to the Christian way of life.
L-R Tom Weldon, Deacon Board Chairman and Interim Pastor Daniel outside at New Bryant Missionary Baptist Church