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Loganville church celebrates 100 years

Corinth Baptist Church looks back at the past century

Corinth Baptist Church of Loganville is celebrating its 100th anniversary Nov. 10. (Special Photo)

Corinth Baptist Church of Loganville is celebrating its 100th anniversary Nov. 10. (Special Photo)

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Don Richards has been the pastor for the past 42 years at Corinth Baptist Church. (Special Photo)

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This one-room church was the original church in 1913. (Special Photo)

LOGANVILLE — Corinth Baptist Church began as a tent in Stone Mountain.

Now 100 years later, it has relocated to Loganville and expanded to serve people of all ages.

“The people themselves have not changed a lot,” said Don Richards, pastor of the church for the past 42 years. “It’s just a great congregation — let me tell you that.”

In 1913, 13 people decided they needed a Sunday school class in the area off of Rockbridge Road. When more people started to attend, the group needed to expand.

And they did — to a one-room church.

“I even have a floor plan of it with the washroom and where the dipper was,” Hollis Reese said, who has been attending the church since 1957. “There was an old heater. My wife accepted Christ, her savior, while attending this church. She’s been the pianist for about 60 years, even after all these years.”

The wooden structure served as the place of worship for close to four decades. Then it was time to upgrade again.

In 1952, the congregation bought new land and built a larger place of worship.

“The old wooden church was removed and now (that area is) a cemetery,” Reese said.

Until the ’90s, Corinth continued to grow, serving more people from all walks of life. The church bought more land around the newer church to build an additional four buildings and an athletic complex with two baseball fields.

In 1997, leaders in the church thought it could be time to find a new place.

“We were a little landlocked,” Richards said. “One thing that really contributed to our decision to relocate was that we did a survey of our membership. Sixty percent of our people lived in Snellville and beyond.”

Richards asked for a vote as well.

“Our church voted,” he said. “For two Sundays we gave out a ballot. About 93 percent wanted to move.”

Two years later, a new church was built at the new location at U.S. Highway 78 and Langley Road. It was completed in 2002.

“The lord has been good to us,” Richards said.

Corinth’s congregation consists of generations of families and anyone who needs to hear the word of God.

There are several ministries offered at the church, including two schools: Gwinnett Christian Academy and the Baptist Institute of America, a Bible college.

The church also offers youth ministries, work with the homeless in Atlanta and a senior citizen ministry.

A newer group that was established at the location is Reformer Anonymous — similar to Alcoholic’s Anonymous, but for all addictions.

“It’s any addiction — alcohol, drugs, tobacco or pornography,” Richards said. “We’ve have some people who are in it and have stumbled in their life, then pick themselves back up.”

The church is always looking for new people to join them. Each month, Corinth learns about who has moved to the area and gives them a visit with a package with popcorn, information about the church and a tract about salvation.

“It gives us a reason to be there,” Richards said. “We come to the house and offer our services from the church, give them the package and hopefully open a conversation.”

Today, Corinth is hosting an event for its anniversary. There is a service, guest speakers and potluck lunch to celebrate and remember the past century.

“We hope it’s going to be enjoyable, informative and challenging for the future,” Reese said.

With a century to look back on, Richards is looking ahead to the next 100 years.

“I think there is some great things ahead of us,” he said. “We’re hoping to build another building for Sunday school and the college. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that in the next few years.”

Corinth is located at 3156 Langley Road in Loganville.