VIRGIE — Sept. 20 marks the 100th year for Virgie Christian Church.
To celebrate, Pastor Bill Taylor and his congregation will hold a homecoming celebration on Sunday, Sept. 20 beginning at 9 a.m. with fellowship time.
A morning worship service will begin at 9:30 a..m., with lunch provided at 12 p.m. on a side yard at the church. Musical fellowship will follow from 1-2:30 p.m.
Lunch will be served under a 40-foot by 100-foot tent, Pastor Taylor said.
“We will have a catered meal for up to 200 people,” Taylor said. “If 201 people show, I will give up my meal to that one person. We’re hoping for a good turnout.”
The church was dedicated in 1920, but the bones of the church are actually the Good Hope Community Church in Parr. Good Hope was broken down into a handful of pieces and transported by horse and wagon from Parr north to Virgie, a trip that covers 11 miles, in 1916.
Virgie Christian is located at County Road 6889 West, County Road 700 North in northern Jasper County. It is nine miles south of DeMotte.
Taylor came to the Virgie church in 2018 after spending time in Illinois with his family. In fact, he worked 30 years in the fire service before becoming the pastor at Virgie.
“I was a lieutenant on a 500-foot ladder truck and it wasn’t as stressful as this,” Taylor said of organizing the church’s 100-year celebration. “It’s something that only happens every 100 years so you want to really celebrate it.”
Taylor came to Virgie by way of Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Ill., where he attended college. After graduating, he put his name on the college’s call list that paired pastors like Taylor with local churches that needed a pastor for a Sunday or two.
Eventually, he was asked to stay as the full-time pastor at Virgie in 2018. When he first started at the church, the congregation hovered around 25-30 in numbers. Today, that number has grown to 60 regular members and ballooned to as high as 80 prior to COVID.
“I feel very blessed to be part of a thriving, growing church,” Taylor said.