By Jackie Hampton
College Hill Baptist Church had its humble beginning under an oak tree in 1907 and on April 8 the church family celebrated its 111th year church anniversary, the last church anniversary service to be held in the current
Father and son church members Ricky and Demosthenes Jones, athletes who were football quarterbacks, served as program guides. The duo set up plays to move the service along smoothly, and in the end, the College Hill family was the victor of this historical anniversary service.
Early in the service, the College Hill Mass Choir drew standing ovations, and a personal testimony of discipleship before the benediction brought tears of joy to many in the congregants.
The message entitled “Do It For The Vine” was delivered by the Rev. C. Edward Rhodes, pastor of Mount Helm Baptist Church in Jackson. His text was taken from John 15:1-7. He reminded the congregation that College Hill has survived over a century because the church is
connected to the true vine. He also declared that this anniversary is not just for looking back but one for looking ahead to what God wants the church to do for His Glory.
Rhodes stated that College Hill must take fallen members and restore them just as Jesus did. He said that when members get upset and stop producing fruit, it is only because that vine has fallen to the ground and sometimes cannot get up. Everybody has fallen at some point Rhodes stated and just as Jesus did, the church must pick them up, wash them off and make them productive.
College Hill Pastor Michael Williams stated that Rhodes had delivered a powerful sermon and he thanked him for leaving his congregation to share with the College Hill family. Williams said that this anniversary service would be the last one to take place in the current sanctuary.
Several years ago, under his leadership, the church initiated a Capital Campaign to support the building of a new edifice. The ground
breaking will take place within the coming months. During construction, church services will be held in the church’s family life center.
Deacon Frank Yates served as chairman of the anniversary committee. The Mass Choir was directed by Brandon Mitchell, director of music at College Hill.
The church is located at 1600 Florence Avenue in Jackson.