Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church will celebrate its 195th anniversary Sunday, Sept. 19.
“What we’re dong is we’re having a block party type thing,” Pastor Robb Barlow said. “We’ll have a food truck in with hamburgers and chips and fries, we’re having a snow cone guy, we got hayrides, pony rides, bounce houses, we got all kinds of carnival games going on at the church.”
The celebration will be from 3-5 p.m. Admission and food is free.
“We’re inviting anybody who wants to come back Sunday morning for worship,” Barlow said. Worship services will be that Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and 11:05 p.m.
Mt. Pisgah was founded in 1826.
“The original chapel, the chapel that’s out there now not the sanctuary was built about 1860s, and that building is still there,” Barlow said. “It is now a Sunday school room/fellowship hall.”
He said the church was actually picked up and moved in the 1950s.
“The church was picked up from where it originally sat and moved and put on top of a basement, and Bedford stone was put on top of it and sided with it,” he said. “That was 1952, I believe that happened. Then in 1966, there were Sunday school rooms put in with a donation by the Major family. In 1991, the church had a gym put on it. Then in 2007, we built a 500-seat sanctuary out there. Then, I think it was just 2018, we built a children’s wing at about $1 million. The sanctuary itself was about $2 million.”
There’s even a house across the parking lot built for a pastor in the 1950s. Barlow doesn’t live in that house, but he has been pastor there since 1987.
Barlow said his Sunday services average about 500-600 people each week.
“It’s a great church,” he said. “It’s got several families that are multi-generational, that have been there since the founding of the church, actually. I know they’re very welcoming, because now there’s probably a large number of new families that have no connection to the church who come there. We’ll average 50-60 additions a year of people joining and becoming a part of the church.
“We’re very children and youth oriented – we did our budget for next year and our youth program spends about $35,000 a year on programming,” he added. “We also have a full-time children’s and elementary pastor. We have a youth pastor there. There’s four of us full time on staff, along with a secretary, and of course we have janitors and groundskeepers, so its good staff that the church pays for and supports. And we have a lot of money that goes out to missionaries and work oversees. I know our church sends a lot of money to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in the county; I think it’s like nine different schools we support. There’s a lot of generosity at that church.”
His church’s generosity allowed them to pay off nearly $2.5 million in debt since 2007, he said.
Mt. Pisgah has provided a multitude of community services over the years, from mission trips to COVID relief. Barlow said they’ve even put nativity scenes on down at the circle, before the construction.
“We’re trying to be Jesus’ light in the community,” Barlow said.
More information about the church is available at http://mtpisgahbaptist.org.