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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Second Baptist celebrates 146th anniversary

By Gene Robertson
July 29, 2012 | 9:00 a.m. CDT

William E. "Gene" Robertson is an occasional guest columnist for the Missourian and a member of the Missourian's Readers Board. He shares this account of an event he was a part of.

The congregation of the Second Missionary Baptist Church made its 146th Anniversary a more significant celebration by adding a homecoming facet to the experience.


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They invited a former pastor of the church and a former MU student who has been recognized as a top ten pastor three times by Ebony magazine . Rev. J Alfred Smith Sr. and his wife, Rev. Bernestine Farley Smith, expressed joy at his return to Second Baptist and Columbia.

A delegation of notables attended the event, including the former mayor pro tem of Kansas City, Alvin Brooks.

During Rev. Smith's sermon, he reminded the congregation of the long legacy of the church, which evolved formerly after the emancipation of the slaves in Missouri. During slavery, church services served as an opportunity for slaves to gather, organize and strategize regarding their survival and welfare.

Through Rev. Smith's sermon, he eloquently wove his scriptural message into his recognition of the church's accomplishments and how much more there is to do, currently and in the future. His dynamic message had the congregation on its feet many times.

You might know that the choir, Rev. Clyde Ruffin, all of the church's staff and volunteers rose to this momentous occasion. As one would expect, the event was topped off with a great meal for all of the attendees. The other churches in the city would have enjoyed a chance to meet and hear this powerful pastor and share in the Second Baptist Celebration. What an occasion!

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.