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50-year-old capsule prompts church to look back & ahead

ROCK HILL, S.C. (BP)–A sealed box placed behind the cornerstone of their building was opened by members of Park Baptist Church, Rock Hill, S.C., at the celebration the building’s dedication 50 years ago.
Addressing the congregation gathered on the church’s lawn, pastor Eddie Ramsey reminded the crowd what the church and the celebration really commemorated: “This box serves as a reminder of what the church has accomplished and as a challenge for what needs to be done in the future.”
B.F. Hawkins, pastor of the church from 1944-58 and now director of missions for Reedy River Baptist Association, joined Ramsey for the unveiling of the box’s contents, as part of the church’s 90th homecoming Sept. 21. Hawkins helped seal the box in 1947.
At times, Hawkins became emotional as he lifted items from the box. When he removed the church’s original building plans, he commented on the many hours he spent drawing up those plans with the builder, S.A. Pope.
Others items included a church roll, a 1947 article from the local paper about the church building, minutes from the 1946 state convention meeting and a copy of the church budget.
Hawkins concluded by reminding the church of its mission, summed up in three words: concern, compassion and conviction.
“To reach people for Christ, you need a basic concern for people that grows into compassion. Then, you need conviction for knowing what you believe and why you believe it,” he challenged. “Voluntary cooperation among Baptists is what ties us together, and causes us to do great things for God.”
Park Baptist Church plans to seal a second cornerstone box to be opened in another 50 years. The box will include all documents from the original box plus a pictorial directory, bulletins from homecomings and other events, the church constitution and operating budget, and a comprehensive history of the church’s first 90 years.
Youth and children also contributed a “WWJD?” (What would Jesus do?) bracelet, with explanation of the current symbol of faith signed by youth, and letters they had written about the church.

Stover is a regional correspondent for the Baptist Courier, South Carolina Baptists’ newsjournal.

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  • Cathy Stover