HONEY GROVE, TX -- It’s not everyday a 150th birthday can be celebrated. Sunday, that’s exactly what the members of the Main Street Presbyterian Church in Honey Grove did. It wasn't for one of their own, but for the place of worship that has meant so much to them all.
What seemed like a normal church service, was anything but this afternoon at Main Street Presbyterian in Honey Grove because this was a celebration; a birthday celebration for a building that has been serving the community for 150 years...
"if they're out, there's a big void there, a bigger church doesn't have that problem so that’s what this church means to me," say Rev. Samuel Rice, the church’s minister.
He’s served in that role three different times over the past fifty years. Rice, along with four other former ministers, was invited back this weekend to remember the good times each of them had and the love the church has shown for them.
"I think its marvelous, especially those that have traveled such distances to come, that says something about the love of their church," says Mary Snell, an even organizer.
"When I first came here, I was unmarried and it’s not easy to get an unmarried minister in a Presbyterian church, but they loved me dearly here. Then I came back a couple of years later with my wife and they loved me just as much," Rev. Rice says.
Founded as the Cumberland Presbyterian church back in 1858, the building and its congregation has seen a Civil War, four presidential assassinations, two world wars, and social unrest in the mid 1960's.
But through all of that, those that have been a part of it say one thing has triumphed: love and a feeling of open arms to the community.
“Fantastic group of people here and its so good to be a part of it they didn’t know if I was going to make it or not, but here we are,” Rice says.
The community has appreciated every minute of it.
"The church is the central part of the community and the church not only provides the spiritual side of life, but they also provide help when needs come up."