Seats were filled, praises were heard from the rooftops and the crowd was exuberant and vibrant at the St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church in Daleville, July 14, as the church family celebrated more than 70 years of service.
St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church in Daleville celebrated more than 70 years of service July 14. Pictured, from left are St. Mark AME Church pastor Rev. LaKenya B. Anderson, 9th Episcopal District Servant Bishop retired Rev. James L. Davis and Daleville Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth.
Dozens of church members from around the Wiregrass were gathered at the old white church in Daleville Sunday afternoon as they listened, sang, danced and clapped along with the dynamic St. Mark AME Church choir and animated keyboard player Michael Dawsey.
"God has been good to us," St. Mark AME Church pastor Rev. LaKenya B. Anderson said. "Especially now that a lot of churches are having to foreclose because they are unable to support themselves. So to still be standing in and of itself is a miracle and a blessing."
The theme for this year's church service was "Standing on the Promises of God."
Several distinguished guests, including Daleville Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth, Presiding Elder Andrew T. Holtz and 9th Episcopal District Servant Bishop retired Rev. James L. Davis, were among those present at the service.
During the service, Rev. Ulysses Kincey, a former pastor for the church, shared a brief story about the history of the St. Mark AME Church.
"I recognize every church has its (own) individual plight because the church has a plight constantly, but this one is unique for many reasons," he said.
Kincey said more than 20 years ago, when he was still pastor of the church, the late Icie Faulk told him the history, struggle and sacrifices the church faced and overcame.
In the 1940s, St. Mark AME Church and New Summerhill Baptist Church in Daleville were originally located on Camp Rucker (now known as Fort Rucker), and St. Mark had two families, the Faulks and Thomases, who comprised most of the membership for the church.
He said in the 1940s when the government was building the post, officials had both church properties seized.
"They told them they had to move," Kincey said. "They moved, and at that time there was no compensation for them. Mrs. Faulk came over here (to Daleville) and they would meet but they had no money to build the churches. Her family had land so she donated the land for both churches, and in her donating the land (others) sought to give money to the churches and straighten out the wrong doing that was done at an earlier date."
Source: Southeast Sun | Ariana Diaz --- firstname.lastname@example.org