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Posted: October 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.

East Newton Baptist looks back

Church that started in mobile unit celebrates 25 years of growth and fellowship

By Mandi Singer /

East Newton Baptist Church Pastor Tom Lee, left, stands with musical group New Again members Pat Nolan and Ed Nolan in front of the church. New Again will perform at the 25th Homecoming Celebration for East Newton Baptist Church on Oct. 12.

Sunday, Oct. 12 will be a day of celebration for East Newton Baptist Church as they welcome old and new acquaintances into their sanctuary for homecoming and their 25th anniversary.
"We are gathering together for homecoming to celebrate the past, to continue to proclaim Jesus Christ in the present, and to press on with Christ in the future," said the Rev. Tom L. Lee, pastor of East Newton Baptist Church. "We want our church to be a place where people hear the gospel and see it change their lives as they grow in their faith."
The homecoming service will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a welcome by the Rev. Tom L. Lee, pastor of East Newton Baptist Church. The Rev. Larry Cheek will bring greetings from the Stone Mountain Baptist Association. An eight minute video presentation of the history of ENBC is sure to bring laughter and tears as the church is reminded of those who have attended and supported the church faithfully over the past 25 years.
Former pastor, the Rev. B.G. Howell, will bring the homecoming message.
"He came to us directly out of seminary as a church planter and stayed on as our first pastor," said Alton Jordan, chairman of the homecoming committee. "He was very instrumental in getting this building we are in."
Southern gospel group, New Again with Ed Nolan, Greg and Wendy Chambers, Holly McCullough and Randall Davidson will be in concert during the morning service and again immediately following dinner on the grounds.
"We will sing our signature song, ‘New Again'," said Ed Nolan, founder of the southern gospel group. "You'll hear some of our new-old favorites, ‘Good Morning, Lord' and ‘His Name was John.' We don't just come in to entertain; we come to present Jesus Christ through song and through the word."
Each family will be given an ENBC coffee mug as a thank you for attending. They will be asked to remember the church with prayer each time they use the mug.
The history of the church began on May 22, 1983, when Calvary Baptist Church voted to plant a mission and purchased 16.758 acres at $3,000 per acre from W.S. Cook. On October 23, 1983, ENBC held its first Sunday service with the Rev. Herbert F. Woodyard in a leased single-wide mobile unit.
Woodyard and the Rev. Franks Daws led worship services for 13 weeks until the Rev. Ben Harris was asked by the mission committee to serve as interim pastor. The Rev. Dickie Johnson led their first revival service. A double-wide mobile chapel was added on September 1984 and the Rev. G.B. Howell was called as pastor the following March. An additional classroom was made available by the donation of a 12 foot by 24 foot building in 1986.
Former pastors who were instrumental in growing ENBC from its original membership of 24 to 218 include the Rev. Herbert Woodyard, the Rev. Frank Daws, the Rev. Ben Harris, the Rev. G.B. Howell, Jr., the Rev. Dan Shaddoch, the Rev. Jim Sizemore, the Rev. D.D. Harris, the Rev. David Stokes, the Rev. Huey Perry, the Rev. Jeff Bishop, the Rev. Ken Kirby, the Rev. Stanley Young and the Rev. Hoyt Johnson.
A note burning ceremony was held in 1987 paying off the land. ENBC began planning toward establishing themselves as an independent church. On November 19, 1989, they held a building dedication service.
The church has made significant renovations to include bricking the exterior, the addition of a storage area and kitchen cabinets, replaced pews with chairs, added new tables for the fellowship hall, placed a canopy over the entrance way and purchased an ice machine. Future plans for the next phase include a new fellowship hall and kitchen, a pre-school wing, a multi-purpose room for the children and a new sanctuary.
Pastor Lee spoke of how the church is reaching out to the community in difficult times. He reminds those who come to the church for help to trust God.
"We want to tell people who are in a personal crisis that God has the answer for them," said Lee. "In the midst of the storm, he is always our peace."
ENBC has ministries for all ages. They launched a program called Worship Kid Style to give children an opportunity to have an interactive worship experience on their level. People who have a heart for Jesus Christ and are looking for a way to serve are encouraged to join ENBC and work with the children, youth and in Sunday school. A mission-minded church, they will send a group to Hands of Hope in West Virginia in November.
"I am convinced as we grow as a church, God will open up new ministry opportunities in the church and community," said Lee. "We're about loving God and loving each other - a simple slogan with so much truth."
East Newton Baptist Church, 1290 Highway 278 East, in Covington offers a variety of programs to meet spiritual, education, worship and social needs. For more information, call 770-786-6627 or visit www.enbchurch.org.

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