Covey Hill Baptists set weekend-long 175th anniversary celebration

Paul Garrod -
Covey Hill Baptist  Church, around 1844, then known as Free Will Baptist Church of Waverly Township.	Covey Hill Baptist Church today.	Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

    PAW PAW  -  Members of  Covey Hill Baptist Church will mark the 175th anniversary of the church with a weekend celebration, July 5 through 7.
    It was Jan. 20, 1844, when  nine charter members of the Free Will Baptist Church of Waverly  met at the home of Isaac Brown. The meetings were held  alternately at the  Bell and Armstrong schoolhouses.
    At the end of the first year, the church had a membership of 26.
    According to church history, it was October of 1852, when   the church membership first considered a church house.
    However, for the next 15 years, there was no record of a church building as such, until the spring of 1867. Church records reported, “Quarterly meeting at the new church. Meeting house dedicated.”
    Additions were made to the church in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as well as 1994, according to Pastor Dan Wilson, who has served as pastor of the church for the past nine years. Pastor Wilson and his wife,  Julia have two sons, Deacon and Micah.
    The church’s weekend celebration will get underway Friday, July 5, from  6 to 9:30 p.m.,  with a bonfire and fellowship. Light refreshments will be served.
    On Saturday, the celebration continues  with a 2 p.m. smoked pork lunch. During that time, State Senator Aric Nesbitt’s office  will present a State of Michigan Special Tribute to the church, in honor of its 175th anniversary .
    From 3 to 6 p.m.,  games, history and fellowship will get underway.
    Wrapping up the day, at 6 p.m., members and others will have a chance to reminisce about the church and its storied  history.
    Historical photos and memorabilia will be on display Saturday inside the church.
    The weekend celebration concludes on Sunday, with a special worship service from 10 a.m. to noon.
    Former church pastors have been invited  back and will each have an opportunity to speak, according to Pastor Wilson.
    A luncheon will follow the service.
    Pastor Wilson said, “I am very grateful that this anniversary can be marked while I am here.  I look forward to many years ahead, as our church holds forth the good news of Jesus Christ for our community, and loves our neighbors, until He comes.”
    RSVPs  are  suggested for those attending the weekend celebration. For more information, contact the church by e-mail at:, or on the web at:

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