Central Baptist Church at 3333 Dave Ward Drive will hold a 60th Anniversary Celebration this Sunday at 10 a.m. According to Pastor Don Chandler, there will be a joint worship service that day, and LABS (Life Application Bible Study) will be dismissed. “We want all our members to be together that day even though it will be very crowded,” he said. “Preparations are already being made to accommodate the parking and seating needs that morning. All friends and former members are invited to join us.”
The Central Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of Darrell Spigner, minister of music and worship, will present a special music program prior to the pastor’s message. Several staff members from earlier years will also be participating, and a video will be shown to highlight the history of the church.
Sunday evening, there will be a Celebration Fellowship at 5:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center. The meal is being provided by Centennial Bank, and everyone is invited to return that night to share in this special event. Regular Sunday evening services are dismissed.
Other present staff members include Mike Lefler, church ministries; Michael Treat, student ministries; Ben South, children’s ministries; and Maggie Chandler, women’s ministries volunteer. More information about the regular schedule of services is available at www.conwaycentralchurch.org or by calling the church office at 329-9283.
For 60 years, Central Baptist Church has served the Lord and the people of Conway. The church was begun in Conway in 1952, when G. D. Cardin and A. R. Reddin had a ministry vision to reach the people of central Conway. A tent was erected at the corner of Lee and Watkins streets, and services began. Through the years, Bennie Speer, C. O. Strong, and Jack Bloxom enlarged the vision, as the church continued to grow.
Don Chandler of Little Rock became pastor in 1979. “Our three children were very young at the time,” Chandler said. “Conway has been a wonderful place for them and now for our seven grandchildren. Unlike many pastors, we are blessed that they are all still faithful members today. I don’t take that for granted. Central Church has been very good to us through the years, and I am especially thankful to work with such a dedicated ministry staff and support staff on a daily basis.”
In June 2003, after several expansions and building programs at the Lee and Watkins location, the church moved into a new $5 million, 65,000-square-foot facility on Dave Ward Drive, where the church continues to grow. As to the secret of that growth, Chandler attributes it to placing major emphasis on the Word of God (in preaching, teaching, and singing). “As Pastor, I hope we continue to build on that tradition for many years to come. I’m looking forward to getting the entire church family back together again this Sunday. It’s a service no one will want to miss.”
Chandler has served as senior pastor for 33 years.