Two Churches Share Special Reunion - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Two Churches Share Special Reunion

It was a Sunday to remember for one East Texas church.  In Winnsboro, Clearwater Baptist Church celebrated its 137th anniversary with a bus load of special out of town guests.  It's a story of faith and love that draws across county lines and skin color.

They come from two very different places, but Sunday morning they were one.  The two congregations met in 2005 when Clearwater Baptist Church in Winnsboro went on a mission trip to Waco, where they worked for a week remodeling Greater Calvary Baptist Church.

 "We wanted to do something specific for some church that had some needs," said Clearwater Baptist Church Pastor Bill Hardage.  "They did and we had the resources to help them, and so we did.  We've been involved with them for two years now."  This year in celebration of their homecoming anniversary Clearwater decided to do something special.  The church invited the pastor, and founder of Greater Calvary Baptist Church in Waco to East Texas.

"It was special to our folks because of the love that they have for that church and Brother Brooks," said Hardage.  "We wanted to say something that would indicate to our community that their should not be any racial problems."  Not only did Pastor Brooks come, he brought his church's entire congregation.

"They have been so kind, so we could not turn them down," said Calvary Baptist Church Member Pearl Johnson.

"We are really blessed to be able to come down," said Calvary Baptist Church Member Barry Lewis.

"I hope that what happened here today will improve race relations in Texas, especially in East Texas," said Hardage.  "It's not really right for white churches and black churches to meet separate."

"It's far and in between that you see this type of thing happen," said Pearl.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," said Lewis.  "I tell you we are looking forward to coming back again."

The churches met through a regional Baptist network that connects churches.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.



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