Conehatta Baptist Church opens new sanctuary

By BRENT MAZE,

Those riding on Hwy. 489 through Conehatta have wondered what’s been going on at Conehatta Baptist Church.

Earlier this year, the 176-year-old congregation decided to tear down their 100-year-old sanctuary.

Conehatta Baptist Church member Bettye Seal said the church had no choice but to replace the sanctuary with a new building.

“The foundation to the old sanctuary was beyond repair,” Seal said. “So we had no choice but to tear down the old sanctuary so that we could build a brand-new one.”

The new facility features a sanctuary that will seat more than 200 worshipers, about 10 new classrooms and new church offices for pastor and staff. Construction only took a few months after the sanctuary was torn down earlier this year.

The church and current pastor Shannon Davis will be having a dedication service this Sunday morning. There will be no Sunday school services, but the morning worship service will be at normal time.

The church was organized on July 5, 1841, as Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. The first church building was erected in 1845, and its former sanctuary was built in 1914 and served the church for 103 years before it was demolished and rebuilt.

Seal said the church wasn’t able to use any of the old pews in the new building because they were built with a curve because of the shape of the old sanctuary. They sold the old ones and purchased new pews.

“Many church members bought them, so many of them have stayed here in Conehatta,” Seal said. “I have one at home too.”

Seal is hoping to see the church continue to be a vital part of their community.

“There were a lot of memories that we had in there, and we hope our new building will be able to last 100 years like our old one,” Seal said. “God has really blessed us for this to happen so quickly.”