St. John Baptist Church celebrates 91 years

NANCY BAKER FAUL/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDSt. John Baptist Church, 12502 Dedeaux Road, Gulfport.
NANCY BAKER FAUL/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDSt. John Baptist Church, 12502 Dedeaux Road, Gulfport.

Organized in 1925, St. John Baptist Church began with brush arbor meetings in Gulfport.

Soon, the charter members moved their services into an old house. By the early 1940s, members built a church.

St. John has been at its present location since September 2010.

Sunday marks the church's 91st anniversary, and Luther Fairley Sr., pastor, said he is looking forward to others in the community joining in the celebration.

"Oh it is going to be a great day in the Lord," Fairley said.

After the 11 a.m. service Sunday the church will hold a luncheon.

This year also marks Fairley's 20th anniversary as the church's pastor. He holds various college degrees including one in Theology from Lift Bible Crusade College in Ocean Springs. Fairley is married to Marcell Fairley, and they have four children and one grandchild.

An "Easter Resurrection" program will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday sponsored by the SJBC youth department.

An Easter egg hunt on church grounds will be at 10:30 a.m. March 26 for kids ages 11 and younger and a lunch will be provided with an Easter skit and video for the children to watch before they go outside.

Easter Sunday is also the 89th birthday for St. John Deacon Shelton Buckley, and his family will have birthday lunch with all who wish to attend after the service.

"Since Easter is upon us and the doctrine of the resurrection is the central theme of the Christian faith," Fairley said, "I want to say this to the community: Without the resurrection our faith is in vain. If He didn't rise again we are yet in our sins. The Christian faith is under the banner of the resurrection. There is a reality in serving a true and living God."

The St. John Baptist Church Vacation Bible School preparations are in the works for the June event. Call the church for details.

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