Historical Smiths Station church celebrates 190th anniversary

Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WTVM) - A Smiths Station church is celebrating a milestone of 190 years of service.

Members of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church filled the pews to celebrate 190 years of their congregation with a surprise performance led by the Glory Quartet, a southern gospel group, from Newnan.

The church opened its doors in 1801 and, according to the church’s historical documents, it was one of the leading Methodist churches in the central eastern part of Lee County.

“Back then, they just wanted to have a space where people could worship,” Pastor Scott Aspen said.

This year is also big milestone for the church’s 23-year-old pastor who is in his first year of being the lead pastor.

Pastor Aspen says the church’s long history of service to the community is something they carry on today.

“We have a Wednesday night dinner - not just for our members but for everybody,” he explained. “If you want to come and eat, we have that for you.”

As the pastor recalls a history that began way before him, he also remembers some of the obstacles the church building faced.

“We’ve had a tornado blow our whole sanctuary off and we have a stained glass in the back of our sanctuary that was pieced together by members,” the pastor explained.

Longtime member Hank Holland, was born three houses away from the church, says the church has a deep sense of community.

“It’s heaven,” Holland proclaimed. “You meet so many nice people - some done gone on and some of them still here.”

This same kindred spirit is what drew church member Nickie Thornhill in.

“The warmth of the people and the welcome that I received was absolutely amazing,” Thornhill said.

And that warmth is the legacy Pastor Aspen says they will continue to live by.

Pastor Aspen invites anyone interested in history or looking for a place to worship to join them Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

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