Faith & Family: Corinth’s lessons still strong at 100

Published 12:08am Saturday, November 2, 2013

WOODVILLE — Corinth Church of Christ’s humble beginnings a century ago included Sunday school classes under an oak tree.

Stability through worship of God, church leaders said, helped the congregation through the Great Depression, merger and a location change, all of which will be highlighted during a 100-year celebration service at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9 at the church, located at 1409 Buffalo Road in Woodville.

Longtime member Peggy Fairchild said she grew up in the church, moved away during her husband Charles’ service in the U.S. Army and returned following Hurricane Katrina.

“Family is very important to us and so are the values that were instilled in us through this congregation,” Fairchild said. “We went from Sunday school classes under the oak trees to having a more modern building with all of the comforts. My siblings, there were four of us, remember well having classes outside.

“Stability and worship of God has been part of our lives.”

Church records indicate Dave Carter and his wife Elizabeth first donated land for a church to the congregation in 1913.

In 1958, a congregation about three miles away in Buffalo merged with Corinth Church of Christ, creating the need for a larger building and more parking.

The increased membership led to construction of a larger church a quarter-mile from the first location. The new church opened Sept. 28, 1960.

The Rev. Bernard Waites joined the Corinth Church of Christ family as pastor in 1962. The Ringgold, La., native who preached in Arkansas before coming to Mississippi, said it is rare for a pastor to stay in one location more than 50 years like he has.

“Usually, after a few years, the grass is greener someplace else, but appeals to move never were that encouraging or that green to me,” he said. “The people (here) are just good, friendly individuals. They have been extremely good to me and my family. I never have seen any reason to leave.

“They are very strong and also very liberal in helping people that really need help.”

Waites said he has not finalized what his message will be to the congregation Nov. 9, saying it will focus on the church’s many achievements.

One of the best is the church members’ constant support of missionary efforts in places around the world, Waites said.

The public is welcome to join the Corinth Church of Christ celebration Nov. 9. Lunch will be provided after the service.