Hurt, VA- It was a celebration 165 years in the making at New Prospect Baptist Church in Hurt. The church welcomed guest speakers and former pastors for a morning of praise.
Current pastor Rev. Brady Willis took pride in what the church has accomplished, saying "A great ministry, a great legacy here. We're grateful for what God has done in that."
Just two miles from the current buildings, the church would establish itself on April 28th, 1849, initially called Baptist Church of Christ at Mount Pleasant. Reverend Willis says, like most churches after the Civil War, it had its struggles. However, the communities of Hurt and Altavista stepped up, and embraced the church's mission.
Former pastor Harold C. Lewis agrees. Lewis served as the pastor for seven years, and still comes back to join the congregation for celebrations and outreach events. Speaking about the church members, Lewis said "They've always been a loving, outreaching congregation, concerned for the welfare of people. Not only members, but the community."
As the families and worshippers of the church enjoyed an afternoon luncheon, they reflected on how the church has changed over the years. For Reverend Willis, the methods and buildings may change, but the mission never does, stating "It's 165 years old, but it's a new church. It is a much different church than I came to 17 years ago. And each new addition of New Prospect just simply tries to do the same thing it's always done: Share the love of Christ."