PARKERSBURG Past and present members of the 14th Avenue Gospel Mission Church will be able to celebrate 70 years of the church at its annual homecoming celebration this month.
The three-day event will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 with singing and speaking by members of the church.
"We'll have people from the church who have been there since its inception," said Pastor Tim Burch, who also headed the anniversary committee for the church.
The event will continue at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 with a video presentation of the church from past to present. Along with the presentation, there will be a time for members of the church who have moved away or moved on to speak about 14th Avenue Gospel Mission Church.
"Also on Saturday we will share our vision for the next few years," Burch said.
Those visions include continuing to buy property surrounding the church and building on and making improvements to the church.
"We have plans within the next 10 years to put in a 500-seat sanctuary," Burch said.
Burch said in the nearly 10 years he has been pastor at the church it has gone from 120 members to 220 members and it is a goal to have a larger sanctuary to accommodate the growing congregation.
Around 8:30 the church will provide cake and ice cream to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the church.
The homecoming wraps up Sunday with several events to take part in.
The day will begin with an early morning worship service at 8:30 a.m., followed by Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. The regular worship service will begin at 10:45 a.m.
After the regular worship service there will be a parking lot dedication for the church's new parking lot. After the dedication there will be the burial of a 10-year time capsule.
Included in the capsule will be DVDs of the 70th anniversary, present pictures and church directory among other items. Burch said it will include "stuff that dates back to where we are now."
The capsule will be opened on the 80th anniversary homecoming celebration.
Following the capsule burial there will be a potluck luncheon.
The three-day event concludes at 7 p.m. with an evening service where the gospel group the Mark Trammell Quartet will perform.
Burch said he is most looking forward to seeing people who have moved on come back and tell stories about the church.
"We look to have a decent crowd," Burch said.
Around 200 postcards for the event were mailed advertising the event, but Burch said everyone is welcome to attend.
"If someone got a postcard and finds out someone was missed inadvertently, they can go ahead and invite them."