Church celebrates 157 years of history - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church celebrates 157 years of history

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October 3, 2004

Smithville- New Hope AME Church in Smithville was originally established for slaves in 1853.

The church also served as the first school for black people in Lee County.

Sunday the congregation celebrated its 157th anniversary.

"I smile when I realize the shoulders that I'm standing on, and appreciate the opportunity to just serve the people and to come behind the pastors and the many forefathers that came before me," says Pastor Keenan Hale.

Fire destroyed New Hope's original building in 1868 and then again in 1949, but the congregation stayed together.

Posted at 5:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com