Thrasher celebrates 100 years

11/9/2005

By Laura Cartwright

Special to the Advocate

When Doug Holland became pianist at Thrasher United Methodist Church, he only knew two hymns.

“I played Lily of the Valley for four Sundays straight until I learned two other songs – Victory in Jesus and Sweet Hour of Prayer,” he said.

Those kind of memories were abundant Oct. 30 when Thrasher United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary.

“We were with the folks at Thrasher for only two years, but by God’s grace and in God’s power, we were able to accomplish a great deal as we prayed and worked together,” Dr. George E. Morris of Canton, Ga., wrote in letter read by Linda Huddleston. “Since leaving Thrasher, God has afforded me the opportunity to do ministry in 67 countries. However, from my heart I say, I have never met a more loving, caring, dedicated and faithful group of Christians than I met right there in Thrasher Church.”

The church, located north of Booneville, was founded in 1905. It now has 32 members.

Long time member Wayne Hall told stories of the days he attended the church as a boy. He recalled the men in the church who had been mentors to him – particularly those who had helped with Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. He recalled Henry Christian who took some of the old pews and turned them into small pews, tables and bookshelves; William Christian who took care of the yard and the grounds, and Sunday School Superintendent Martin Bolt, whose place Hall took. “Pretty big shoes to try to fill,” Hall said.

Church members arrived dressed in clothing similar to what was worn in 1905 when the church was founded. The Rev. Mary Lou Tickell welcomed the members and guests. Elaine Stevens led the congregation in singing Amazing Grace and ‘There’s Within My Heart A Melody. Holland sang How Great Thou Art and To God Be the Glory.

The Rev. Gerald Carpenter of Tupelo was the guest preacher for the celebration. He served as pastor at Thrasher UMC from 1981-1984.

Following the service was a covered-dish luncheon. Huddleston wrote a poem for the occasion that began:

“In October 1905, which was in the early fall,

The Thrasher Methodist Church was established for all;

To spread the word of Jesus was the goal,

For the purpose of saving lost peoples’ souls”.

After remembering the many loving people who had been a part of the church over the years, she ended with:

“Keeping the memories alive of past members and pastors, we certainly need,

To pay tribute to them all for their many good deeds.

Many prayers have been answered and souls have been saved –

We give thanks to God for these blessings and miracles today.”