SILVERHILL, AL (November 9, 2012) – Individuals attending the dinner honoring the 110th anniversary of the Silverhill Covenant Church on Sunday paid nearly as much for their ticket as the entire congregation spent to paint the original building.
Dinner tickets cost $10. Business meeting minutes from the church’s early years – it was founded in 1902 – note the congregation at one point spent $18.32 to paint the 50-foot by 30-foot structure plus the steeple. Records show the church paid only $75 to construct the building in 1904 and another $182 for the steeple a year later.
The church is the oldest in what is now the denomination’s Southeast Conference, and though the cost of ministry has changed over the years, the heart of the people to serve their community has remained the same, says Jesse Adams, pastor of Silverhill Covenant Church.
Adams said it is appropriate for the church to hold its anniversary celebration on All-Saints Day as they honor the work of the people who had gone before them. Ten people organized “Svenska Evangeliska Missions Forsamling,” or Swedish Evangelistic Mission Congregation, which now is attended by 130 individuals.
Creighton C. “Peco” Forsman constructed a scale exact replica of the building as it appeared in 1910. He even used the same kind of wood – heart pine for most of the building and split cypress for the roof. He estimates the model includes about 5,000 miniature shingles.
Forsman’s family has attended the church since 1903. His great grandfather joined after attending Julotta, the traditional Swedish Christmas service that was held at 5:30 a.m.
The anniversary service was held at 10 a.m. Sunday and conference Superintendent Robert Owens preached.