Sunday, April 20, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Woodbine Baptist Church

Woodbine Baptist Church (now Woodbine Family Worship Center) has served the spiritual needs of its congregation in Independent Hill, Coles Magisterial District, since May of 1875. 

Woodbine Baptist Church (1875)
(photo by C.Lynn)
There are currently two churches on site – the original frame, one-room church built in 1875 (the “Little Church”) and the present-day church built in the 1950s to replace it.  The Little Church was moved to the southwest corner of the cemetery lot in the early 1960s.  In 1973, spearheaded by Mrs. Mabel Carter, Ray Wood, and Gene Wells* (a 14 year old parishioner), the congregation raised enough funding to restore the Little Church.  It stands there to this day and remains in use for special occasions, like this morning’s Easter Sunrise Service.

Levi C. Lynn, son of Benson Lynn and his first wife, Emily Norman, donated the original land for the church in 1875 (PWCo Deed Book 30, pg. 207).  He served as one of the original Trustees, along with Deacon Sidney F. Teasdale, John H. Renoe, George W. Lowe, Charles W. Teasdale, and Aylett Nicol.  Over the years there has been some debate as to whether Levi Lynn also served as a Pastor at the New-School Baptist church that he founded.  On its 100th anniversary celebration, the original Bible was returned and donated to Woodbine, where it remained on display for many years.  The Bible’s dedication page strongly implies that Levi did, indeed, serve as its Pastor.

This Bible presented to L. C. Lynn by Willie
H. Flanders of Philadelphia for the use of
Woodbine Church & the Sabbath School
(attached thereto) as a token of approval
and regard.

October 30, 1875

*This industrious teenager, who according to a 1973 newspaper article “repainted the nameplate sign that swung over the door of the old church, proclaiming for all ‘Woodbine Baptist Church, 1875’” is still part of its congregation.  Today, 41 years later, Gene Wells serves as Woodbine’s Senior Pastor. 

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