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Demopolis church celebrates 175 years

First United Methodist Church in Demopolis opened it doors for the first time in 1840, and church members will celebrate its 175th anniversary Sunday, April 26 with a homecoming service at 10 a.m.

“We’re very proud of the church that we can celebrate this and share it with so many people,” said Kelley Mullins, who has been a member of the church since she was born. “Everybody is really excited just about the fact that we’ve been here for so long.”

The church is inviting current and former members to take part in the celebration.

“We’ve invited people that grew up in Demopolis in the church that have moved away,” Mullins. We’ve asked them to come back.

Since it’s founding, the church’s congregation has grown to nearly 900 members.

“It says a lot about the people that originally had this dream to have this church here and the families that we’ve in the church that have just been very firm in their faith and committed,” Mullins said. “In this day and age there aren’t a lot of churches out there that are lasting.”

The church has planned one service for Sunday to look back at its history, recognize former members and pastors and sing hymns from a traditional Methodist hymnal.

“We’re doing a lot of special music with our choir, and some other people are going to sing,” Mullins said. “We’re also going to sing several hymns out of the Cokesbury hymnal, which is an old Methodist hymnal.”

Fifth graders from 1962 will also open a time capsule that was placed in one of the church’s cornerstones.

“A lot of the people that participated are excited about remembering what they put in there and actually seeing what they put in there,” Mullins said.

After the contents of the capsule are revealed, current fifth graders will put items into the capsule and close it back up for the 50 years.

“Some of them don’t really realize the importance as much as others, but it will be really neat to see what some of these kids today will come up with to put in the capsule,” Mullins said.

Sunday’s service will also welcome back Walter Albritton, a former pastor of FUMC, to speak to the congregation. Albritton was pastor from 1975-1980.

“A lot of our congregation remember him,” Mullins said. “He actually married my parents and several people that are still in the church. He was well liked in the church, and the fact that he is willing to come back and preach means a lot to our congregation.”

Once the service comes to a close, the church will hold a covered dish lunch for this in attendance.

“We’ve asked everybody that will come, even former church members, if they want to bring something, bring it because we are feeding everybody,” Mullins said. “The church will provide the meat and drinks, and everybody else is bringing covered sides and deserts.”