The Center point Free Will Baptist Church, 1671 Highway 64 East, Vilonia, will be hosting a 100-year celebration at their annual homecoming. The event will be held on Sunday, Aug. 5, with worship service beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by a potluck meal and afternoon service at 1:30.
Center Point Free Will Baptist Church was organized under the shade trees in September 1912. There were only a handful of members at this time. The first church building was erected shortly thereafter. In the 1930s part of the church building was sold and it was remodeled to face Highway 64. In the 1950s classrooms were added to the back of the building. In the late 1960s a parsonage was built to provide housing for the family of the Rev. Sidney Sawrie, who served as the first full time pastor of Center Point. Ground breaking for our present sanctuary began in 1972, and the first services were held on Nov. 14, 1973. In 1997, the land behind the church was dedicated in a special ceremony. A new educational building was begun in April 2000, and this building was officially dedicated at the homecoming service in August 2006.
Over the past 100 years, the Center Point Free Will Baptist Church has served as a lighthouse on the side of a much traveled highway. This building has served as a storm shelter, protecting more than 100 people who gathered last April 2011, when the tornado came through the town. The people of Center Point serve the Lord and are truly the hands and feet of Jesus in their daily lives. The church is currently under the leadership of the Rev. Greig Caswell, who has served as pastor for the past nine years.
Center Point Free Will Baptist Church is a member of the New Hope Association of Free Will Baptists where they are active on a District, State and National level. They have various branches of ministry, including Master’s Men, Women Active for Christ, Church Training Service, Discipleship classes, Financial Peace classes, Children’s Church and a growing youth group.
The church invites friends and community to help celebrate this milestone in the church’s history.