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Woodland Chapel homecoming, centennial set for Sunday

PEDRO — It’s a day of many celebrations on Sunday at Woodland Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. Not only is it the church’s homecoming and centennial, but also marks the 50-year anniversary of being in the new church.

Built originally in 1914, the church burnt in the early 1940s when lightning struck its steeple, Dale Schwab, Woodland Chapel member, recalled.

“Some pews were salvaged from the fire and kept in a barn,” Schwab said. “While getting rebuilt, church services were held under a tree.”

The rebuilt church existed for 20 years until growth created the need for expansion and the church’s current building was built.

“Church records show the message has been the same since 1914,” Schwab said. “Our pastors have been persistent in proclaiming that message.”

Overall 19 full-time pastors, two interim pastors and two assistant pastors have served Woodland Chapel. Schwab said past members and pastors and their descendants are urged to attend this Sunday when current pastor David Schug will present a PowerPoint about the church’s history.

“We will have special singing by past members and the children and grandchildren of former pastors,” Schwab said. “Our pastor did lots of research and did bios on all the former pastors and he has a timeline of the church’s history.”

The church will also recognize member Elwanda Willis, who has attended the church for 70 years, and Eloise Riley, who attended services in all three of the church’s buildings.

The celebrations begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The church is located at 116 Township Road 108, four miles north of Ironton on State Route 93.