‘We are all there for each other’

Second Baptist to celebrate 134 years on Sunday

Sherry Washington knows just how fortunate she and the other members of Second Baptist Church are.

So as the church prepares to celebrate its 134th year of existence on Sunday, Washington recognizes how remarkable that milestone is.

“For us what’s really special about 134 years at Second Baptist — as we all know through the pandemic, some churches closed,” Washington said. “Some did not reopen and some still have compromised services. However, we are blessed to see 134 years through the pandemic and just through all the different challenges that each and everyone of us are facing.”

“The world is still struggling,” Washington added. “So it’s a blessing to see 134 years with the church’s doors still open and still having its membership. We are especially blessed to still have some elders attending church to tell the history.”

One of those elders is Washington’s mother, Charlene Washington, who joined the church in 1965.

“When the new church, 1827 Fourth Ave. S., was built in the 1970s, she was one of the people who helped shovel the dirt and lay one of the first bricks,” Sherry Washington said. “For me, it’s especially sentimental. I was born into the church and I’m still there.”

The celebration will feature a regular Sunday service at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Robert Bell.

The Rev. Diane Kroger, a pastor from Second Baptist Church in Ottumwa, will be the guest speaker during that time. Guests are invited back at 3 p.m. for guest speaker the Rev. Jordan P. Rabon, a pastor of the King of Kings Missionary Baptist Church of Des Moines.

Sherry Washington serves as the church’s mission director and trustee.

She’s sympathetic to churches around the country who have struggled through the pandemic.

“We sympathize with all the churches and congregations throughout the country who could not open or could not stay and continue on,” Washington said.

Washington has appreciated the work of Second Baptist Church to bring people together.

“Not only is it a family church, it’s also a community church,” Washington said.

The church has helped out members and nonmembers.

“We get requests from folks in the community — some who attend and many who don’t,” she said. “We help who we can. Most funerals, especially in the African American community, there’s not too many funerals that have passed in Fort Dodge that we have not supported a funeral. We help in the background with many many families.”

Washington is happy to be part of the Second Baptist family.

“No matter who you are, we have the listening ear and that shoulder to lean on,” she said. “For me that’s what church and family and spirituality is all about. As the Bible says, Jesus walked with all sorts of folks and we are those folks. What I like is that we are imperfect people and we are all there for each other.”

What: Second Baptist Church 134th anniversary celebration

When: Sunday

Time: 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Where: Second Baptist Church, 1827 Fourth Ave. S.


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