BY LISA WARREN
Cedar Creek Church of God marked its 100th anniversary this weekend with a three-day celebration that included worship, food, fun, music and history lessons.
The event began on Friday with youth night activities.
On Saturday, a special morning service took a look back at the church's history, followed that evening by a barbecue dinner and a musical service.
The centennial celebration culminated on Sunday morning with special recognition for the pastors and their families who have served the church and community during the past 100 years.
Cedar Creek Church of God, at 2800 Cedar Creek Road, had its start between the years of 1900 and 1912, thanks to the efforts of various individuals in the Cove Creek, Houston Valley and Cedar Creek communities, according to church historian Carolyn Renner Bowers, who recently complied a written and pictorial history of the church.
The church was initially founded as the "Church of God," and met at the homes of David and Frances Waddell, Joseph and Laura Cornwell, William and Flora O'Dell, Anderson and Minnie Collins, and Anderson and Emma Holt.
The Holt Cabin still stands today at 185 Parman Road, serving as a reminder of the church's primitive beginnings, Bowers said in her book.
In 1921, land was purchased for a church building.
"This land had been owned by William G. Broyles, and was located on what is now Garrett Hill Road, about one-half mile from the heart of Cedar Creek," Bowers writes.
The church structure was completed on May 2, 1922.
"The church was then named Broyles Chapel Church of God, in keeping with a custom of the day by which churches were commonly named after the seller or donor of property for a church," Bowers said.
"Ironically, it was many years before there were any Broyles' in the church," she added.
The church congregation continued to grow, creating the need for several stages of remodeling and renovations to the building.
NEW CHURCH PLANNED
By the late 1960s, however, the Broyles Chapel congregation had grown to the point that church leaders decided to look to a new location.
Five acres were purchased for the new church building from Ellis Freshour for $8,000 in 1969.
In 1974, the church took out a $110,000 loan and began making plans for the new church facility, breaking ground on the structure on April 7, 1974.
"By January 1975, the building was nearing completion, and the date of Feb. 2, 1975, was set as 'Becoming Day' for the church," Bowers wrote in the church history.
"This was to be the day on which Broyles Chapel Church of God was to 'become' Cedar Creek Church of God.
"Two worship services were scheduled for that morning," Bowers said. "The plans called for the congregation to assemble at 9:30 for a final worship service in Broyles Chapel and then to travel as a motorcade to the new church for the second worship service, which would be the first service in the new building," she said.
THE CHURCH TODAY
Since 2009, Cedar Creek Church of God has been led by Pastor Darryl and Susan Allen, along with youth minister E.J. Swatsell.
"For a church that is situated in a more remote area of southern Greene County .... Cedar Creek Church of God has a far-reaching influence," Bowers said.
"The church is well known and highly esteemed throughout the county and state," she said.
"Through the years, her ministers have come from many states, and her missions outreach touches the farthest extent of the world," she added.
There have been 12 persons from the congregation who have answered God's call to the ministry, and are now serving in Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Montana and Michigan, Bowers said.
"Additionally, one of the church's young couples, Warren and Kim Shelton, served as the state Youth Directors of the Church of God in Tennessee," she added.