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Published On: Fri, Jun 29th, 2012

Illinois Assembly of God Church preparing to celebrate 100th birthday

The First Assembly of God in Granite City will be celebrating its 100th birthday party on July1, 2012.

As Stltoday reports, an open house, a potluck picnic and a new entrance will highlight the events. The church is dedicating a new entrance at the event to ease with parking and transportation.

“The new entrance is just one of many improvements the church will see in its centennial year, the Rev. Rich Smallie said.

“We’re going to have a great new chandelier handing in the window, and a wide-open space to greet people,” said Smallie, adding that the goal for improvements to the church has reflected the philosophy of having “open doors.”

“It’s a reflection of what we’re doing internally,” he said. “Trying to be a welcoming place for people to come.”

Granite City First Assembly of God is set to turn 100!!! Photo/GC First AG Facebook page

 The AG church began in 1912, moving to an abandoned saloon in 1913.

The church’s website chronicles the events:

In the spring of 1913, an abandoned saloon building became the group’s first house of worship. They faced some hardships due to the special kind of faith and tenacity of spirit present in that body of believers. Yet in spite of opposition attendance increased steadily, and many found Christ in those days. Then almost seven years to the day of that first small gathering of believers, Rev. Carl O’Guin was elected as it’s first pastor in June of 1919. One year later a charter was drawn and First Assembly of God officially began with a membership of twenty-eight. Those first few believers bonded together and through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit to establish a church that has withstood world wars, the Great Depression and may challenges presented as by the needs of the day.

“With a small amount of money the saloon was something manageable for them,” longtime church member and administrative assistant Debbie Pither said. “I’ve attended the church for 38 years and there were people who were able to share their experience and how they scrubbed the saloon and just really felt that they took a place that represented something else and made it into a place of worship.”

“We’re in the downtown area, so we certainly have an inner-city flavor that hasn’t always been what the church was,” Smallie said. He plans to coordinate with other churches in the downtown area already serving the city’s needy, including Jesus Place Mission Church. Smallie also wants to open a coffee house at the church where community members can discuss faith in a ‘safe, clean and non-threatening place.”

Check out the church’s website here or their Facebook page, for a tons of great photos and the latest on the events.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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