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Bethel Baptist to mark 155th anniversary July 17

Bethel Baptist Church at Sassafras in Gloucester will celebrate its 155th anniversary on Sunday, July 17. The church was established in July 1867 when 16 former slaves first met under the shade of a brush arbor at Sassafras Stage.

The celebration will include the opening between services of the recently established Sassafras Stage Bethel Legacy & Heritage Room. This opening will take place for visitors from approximately 1:30-2:45 p.m.

Worship services at noon and 3 p.m. are planned with the theme “Celebrating 155 Years: Walking in Faith” using the scripture Psalm 150.

Deacon Nathaniel R. Cooke Jr. will lead the service at noon, and members of The Church of Abraham, and the Rev. Sheila Madanat, will provide music. Delivering the message will be the Rev. James L. Harris.

The service will include a memorial to the church founders and deceased members, with a Candle of Remembrance being lit by a descendant of a founder.

The afternoon service will welcome the Rev. Larry...

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