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DOWNEY - Sept. 19, 2013 marks an important milestone for one of Southern California's oldest churches: First Baptist Church of Downey is celebrating 145 years of faith, dedication, service, missionary building and outreach throughout the world.
A special anniversary celebration weekend is set to take place the last weekend of September.
The two-day celebration begins Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. A special Sunday workshop service is planned at 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 29, followed by an al-church family picnic.
The anniversary theme, "145 Years of Kingdom Footprints," celebrates the church's "rich missionary heritage and the impact this body of believers has had in our community and cities across the world, through the work of Godly men, women and their families over the past decades," said Bruce Leach, chair of the Family Ministries Team and whose family's involvement with First Baptist Church of Downey dates back to 1923.
The Family Ministries Team extended invitations to former pastors and ministry directors to take part in next weekend's celebrations.
"Over the years, First Baptist Church has had the privilege of joining other churches in Downey to serve the needs of the community," said Senior Pastor Danny Posada, who joined the church with his wife, Linda, last May. "Its history has spanned over three centuries, but the church is committed to being a 21st century church that is building and launching lives forward."
"We invite the community to share in the celebration of the past and the joy of opportunities to serve Downey in the future," he added.
First Baptist Church of Downey was established on Sept. 19, 1868, originally under the name Los Nietos Baptist Church, by seven pioneers who originally met inside a two-story "little red school house," later known as Gallatin Elementary School.
The church changes its name to First Baptist Church of Downey in 1874.
For 145 years, the church has been instrumental in starting many community outreach programs and has supported evangelical and missionary ministries around the world. It also helped launch Baptist churches in Whittier, Paramount, Huntington Park, Pico Rivera and Compton.
"This September, we celebrate 145 years of preaching the gospel and teaching generations of men and women to live Godly lives," the Family Ministries Team said in a statement. "We pray we will continue in fruitful ministry growing together in Christ and continuing to be a lighthouse in Downey and the surrounding communities."
First Baptist Church of Downey is located at 8348 E. 3rd St. For more information, call (562) 923-1261 or visit fbcdowney.org.
Published: Sept. 19, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 23