Dunson Baptist Church will be celebrating it 100th anniversary and homecoming Sunday. The worship service will begin at 10:30 a.m., with food and fellowship to follow.
County and city dignitaries have been invited and Dr. Harris Malcolm, a state missionary from the Georgia Baptist Convention, will be presenting the church’s 100-year plaque.
Music will be provided by a number of individuals and groups. The group Freedom Sound will be featured as well as the Dunson Baptist Choir. David Reese, Lance Money, John Key and Tim Karr also will perform.
Although Dunson Baptist Church’s name derived from its association with Dunson Cotton Mills, it started as early as the 1880s when a small group of Baptists began meeting in people’s homes. The group grew slowly and went through many changes until, in 1912, the group led by the Rev. Doss, became formally known as Dunson Baptist Church.
Over the years, the Dunson Baptists found themselves holding their services in a variety of places. From 1911 to 1913 the group met in the Dunson Mill warehouses.
After Dunson School was built they met in the school’s auditorium until Union Church was built in 1916. Although the Baptists shared Union Church with the Methodists, Union Church is still considered the first real home for the Dunson Baptists.
After the church was destroyed by fire on Dec. 21, 1927, both congregations returned to the school auditorium for their services.
In 1928, Dunson Mills made plans to build new structures for both churches. The Baptist church was located at the intersection of Barnard and Hill streets. The new church was dedicated on Jan. 20, 1929.
The Dunson congregation continued to grow until even with its 1966 Daniel Lumber Company-built addition, a new building was needed. Through the combined resources of a seven-year building drive and matching funds from Callaway Foundation, the new church was built for the Dunson Baptist congregation. On Oct. 2, 1983, the new church was dedicated.
Sunday, pastor the Rev. Clay Snyder will lead the Dunson congregation and their guests in what church members described as a richly deserved celebration of how the spirit and faith of the people of this church have endured and flourished, thus continuing to enhance and nourish the LaGrange community.