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Central Christian Church marks 150th anniversary Sunday

Central Christian Church marks 150th anniversary Sunday

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Central Christian Church

In this 2018 photo, Jake Robken, of Waco, tries to maneuver his wagon full of pumpkins at the Central Christian Church Pumpkin Patch. The event is canceled this year, but the church is moving ahead with a scaled back 150th anniversary event.

Known for its annual pumpkin patch event as well as its deep roots in Waco, Central Christian Church will celebrate its 150th anniversary Sunday.

The church at 4901 Lake Shore Drive will mark its sesquicentennial at its 10:30 a.m. service with special music, speakers and a drama depicting the church’s founding.

Church leaders scaled back plans for a weekend of anniversary activities, postponing them until next year. But the Rev. Brian Coats, the senior minister, said it is important to mark the anniversary this year.

“This family of faith has been sharing life and love in the name of Jesus Christ for 150 years,” Coats said. “Not many churches can say that. I’m honored to be a part of such a tremendous legacy of faith.”

The church traces its roots to 18 Disciples of Christ members who started worshipping in their homes in 1867 and became charter members of a Waco congregation in 1870, according to a Texas Historical Marker dedicated in 1988. The founding pastor was the Rev. B.F. Hall, who came from Grayson County at the request of Phoebe Moore and Sallie Skidmore. The congregation held baptisms in the Brazos River. A Sunday school started in 1874, and a church building was erected in 1875.

Local actor Becky Parker will present a monologue Sunday depicting Moore, who traveled with another woman in a horse-drawn wagon for 174 miles to recruit Hall to Waco.

The church was long located at 11th Street and Washington Avenue, but it moved to its current location in 1989.

The church boasts a large pumpkin path each October, though the event is called off during this year’s pandemic. The fundraiser supports missions and children and youth ministries.

The church also serves lunch once a month at Church Under the Bridge and helps families through its Noah’s Ark Preschool.

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