by Terry Rogers
On Sunday, June 10, Milford First Baptist Church celebrated its 145th anniversary with special worship services and a picnic. The picnic included food and entertainment for both children and adults. David Morgan entertained the group with southern gospel music.
“Normally, we have two services on Sunday, but we combined them into one so that everyone could be together as we celebrated this milestone,” Pastor David Perdue said. “We provided parishioners with the chance to have family photos taken and have combined those photos into a new church directory that will be available.”
Milford First Baptist Church began in 1872 when residents of Milford and Lincoln decided to create a Baptist congregation in the area. Originally, the group met in the Methodist Episcopal Church with 19 charter members. In 1874, they built their own building next to the old Milford Academy. According to A History of Milford, Delaware compiled by the Milford Historical Society, the new building served the church for more than 86 years. An attempt was made in 1940 to enlarge the original building or relocate, but it was not until 1959 that property was purchased on Milford-Harrington Highway and a new building constructed in 1962.
“The old building is still standing behind Berry-Short Funeral Home,” Pastor Perdue said. “Our growth has been due to faithful pastors and faithful people. We saw a lot of growth during the 1970s and 1980s which allowed us to purchase more land. During that time, we had a huge bus ministry which brought many children to church. In 1974, we opened the school.” Pastor Perdue said that the church still has a bus ministry although fewer people use it. It is mostly used to bring children and disabled members of the church to services.
The addition of the AWANA Club for Children as well as the Senior Saints program also attributed to the growth of the church. Pastor Perdue has been leading the church for 19 years. He graduated from the Baptist Bible College of Springfield, Missouri and joined the ministry immediately, serving at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Fairfax, Virginia, where he spent 30 years. Pastor Perdue grew up the son of a preacher with three brothers and developed a love for ministry at an early age. He surrendered to the call to be a minister at the age of 12. He is married to his wife, Debbie, who he met when they were both students in college. They married in 1969 and have four adult children. Pastor Perdue earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Sacramento Baptist College in 1972 and was given an honorary doctorate in Divinity by Atlantic Baptist College in 2003.
Milford Baptist Church is located at 6062 Old Shawnee Road, Milford. Sunday services are held at 8:30 AM and 11 AM. A Spanish class is held at 10 AM and a Bible Study class is held at the same time .There is a Children’s Church Service at 11 AM and an evening service at 6:30 PM. The AWANA and Teen Program are held Wednesday at 7 PM and Bible Study is Wednesday at 7:30 PM. To learn more, call 302-422-9795 or visit their website at http://firstbaptistofmilford.com/.
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