By Teresa Chance, Special to the Message
PROVENCAL – Kisatchie Baptist Church celebrated a special homecoming March 31, marking 151 years of Christian service and commemorating the commitment of the seven founding members who helped to establish the ministry within the community.
A number of current and former members, relatives of deceased members, and residents of the surrounding area took part in a program of worship, remembrance, special music and fellowship, taking time to acknowledge the blessings God has poured out on the congregation since its inception in 1868.
Church records document that Kisatchie member have been active in missions and ministry from the beginning, starting with the support of a missionary, 123 years ago, at the cost of fi ve dollars per month.
Located west and adjacent to Kisatchie National Forest and bordered to the south and east by the Peason Range on Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center, the present facility stands within yards of the original building spot.
But the structure has changed over the years from a log cabin, which doubled as the school house on week days, to the present brick building comprising the sanctuary, Sunday school classrooms and a fellowship hall.
Kisatchie Baptist Church has always stood at a crossroads, originally built at the juncture of two major trails in the state and now standing at the intersection of Louisiana Highways 117 and 118. Likewise, the congregation’s mission has always been to stand as a “lighthouse in the crossroads of life,” records show.
Organizers patterned the celebration after the 100th homecoming of Kisatchie Baptist Church, commemorating the milestone with a review the rich history of the congregation and renewing its commitment to remain a “lighthouse” to all “by proclaiming to the world the Holy Word of God and the truth of salvation found only through the Savior Jesus Christ.”
Coordinators also read to participants an excerpt from the program printed for the 114th homecoming celebration, held Feb. 18, 1982:
“There is little doubt that the little church begun in 1868 has grown and changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant. That is the faith and dedication of its membership. No band of believers has ever worked harder, supported more consistently or held to the faith with greater perseverance. It is this attitude, this very sense of community that we pray will go with us throughout this second century of ministry. We look to the future with great optimism, and await anxiously each of those times when we can accomplish good works through service to God.”
Article dedicated by author in loving memory to Kay Taylor, Kisatchie Baptist event coordinator: “Who had her greatest homecoming with our Lord on May 27, 2019.”