Sunday afternoon Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church celebrated their 100th year anniversary with family and friends from Pensacola and visiting friends from different areas of Florida and Alabama.
With songs of praise, dance and proclamations, the Church received many accolades from various organizations, County Commissioners, City Council and the Mayor of Pensacola.
Pastored by Reverend A. L. Durant for the last 63 years, the church has led many souls to Christ and developed many young minds to serve to Christ.
Sister Mildred Dailey Thomas, the only living person from the membership roll of Macedonia’s Forty four when Dr. Alvin L. Durant was called to Pastor in 1951, eloquently stated “This represents 63 years of his (Pastor Durant) spiritual and divinely guided wisdom. But if the original forty-four were still living, what might they want to say to as we celebrate this Centennial? What would Sister Lula Ferris say? Having sat in her presence during her final years, I believe she would say: “Children of Macedonia well done. You have not kept the faith, you are finishing the course, though you are not yet done, you are on the right track.”
In 1913, an idea was place in the heart of Lula Farris to establish in the Hawshaw (Hogshaw) area, a small black community located in the northwest corner of the city of Pensacola, a refuge for troubled and distorted souls.
Being a consecrated woman of God, Mother Lula Farris as she was known, along with a few eager and persistent young supporters, who regularly met to hear her message, laid the ground work and formally established the body.
Interest ws immense and the growth of the group increased rapidly. This increase grew in number thus requiring the need of an administrator. To give guidance to the flock, the group elected to call Reverend Holmes as its first Pastor The church was given the name of the Long Faith Baptist Church. Mother Lula Farris continued to provide spiritual wisdom to the church body. Several years passed and it was assessed that if the new body was to move forward the prevailing economic and temperament issues, unforeseen by the newly formed body at the time, would have to have an intervention.
After prayer and meditation, the body witnessed a brief series of Ministers who came and left. As in many cases when leadership is rapidly changing, the body experienced a period of challenges out of these changes a split resulted and Spring Hill Baptist Church evolved. Mother Lula Farris recommended that the remaining members rename themselves Macedonia Baptist Church. After due consideration, the name was adopted by the body.
Reverend Cardstaphena was called as administrator, who served for several years and resigned.
After Reverend Carstaphena’s departure, the body called Reverend Hale as its administrator.
On June 11, 1935 twenty persons met at No. 205, North 9th Avenue under the temporary leadership of Brother Thomas Buggs, Chairman and Sister Deola Marshall, recording secretary for the purpose of organization. Upon motion, duly seconded and adopted, that the body would form an organization to be hereafter known as Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, of Pensacola, Florida. During this meeting three brothers were unanimously voted to become the Trustee Board for the newly organized Church. These brothers were G.W. Groomster, A. Howard, Chairman and F. Hogan, Secretary. It was under this Board of Trustees that a contract was entered into for the property at 205 North 9th Avenue consisting of three renovated rooms. The house was purchased and titled to Macedonia for the purpose of worship.
On a Thursday night, after the fourth Sunday in May 1951, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Pensacola called Reverend Alvin Lee Durant, Sr. Under Reverend Durant’s leadership the church membership body once again began to move forward. Macedonia renovated its existing building. Not being satisfied with the newly renovated building, they purchased the adjacent property to its facility and in April 1957 broke ground for another structure. IN May 1957 the foundation for its new structure was laid.
In October 1960 Macedonia marched into its new facility on the corner of 9th Avenue and Chase Street (now the parking lot for the Pensacola Civic Center).
In July 1976, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Pensacola, Florida membership marched to its new facility and present location of 3802 North Ninth Avenue. With transition, Macedonia moved upward in both structure and membership under the leadership of Reverend Doctor Alvin Lee Durant and wife Sister Lexie Beatrice Cook Durant at his side.
We rejoiced with Rev. A.L. Durant as he celebrated 67 years as an ordained minister as of Wednesday night, February 26, 2014 at 7pm when his first trial sermon was preached. No other existing Missionary Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida can boast that their Minister has served in their church, as pastor, consecutively longer than Dr. A. L. Durant has Macedonia.
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