A time in 1834, one that you can only assume began with jubilation, hand-clapping, song and thanksgiving, the first service of the New Market Baptist Church got underway to dedicate the church to God.
In 1835, within one year of completion, all that joy was soon be diminished when a tornado ripped through the New Market community, knocking the church down. Undaunted by the chain of events, church members and members of the community pitched in and rebuilt the church, which was rededicated in 1836. The bricks to build the church are believed to have been purchased from the New Market Brick Company at the cost of around $225. One hundred and eighty-four years later, the church building still stands and serves the community today.
The church has seen some changes over the years, but one thing that remains the same is the sound of the church bell that rings out through the community each Sunday morning. One change came to the church approximately 15 years ago. Karen Kemper, a former student of pastor Herman Fennig of the Sinking Spring area, came to the New Market area after accepting the position of pastor with the church. To reach and administer to the spiritual needs of more people, it is now a non-denominational church, known as New Market Community Church.
Kemper previously served a church in Trenton as a Sunday School teacher, youth leader and also became involved in a home ministry program for the elderly and those who were unable to attend church for various reasons. Since coming to Highland County, she has been involved in working with a number of organizations throughout Highland and Clinton counties. She has served as a board member at the Highland County Homeless Shelter for two years; assistant spiritual director, three times, for the Wilmington Emmaus Community; and is currently on the Spiritual Advisory Board for Aglow in Hillsboro.
“God is still working in me,” Kemper said.
The church has a small church atmosphere and believes in caring for people and the community. Kemper would like to invite anyone who is looking for a church and seeking for a place to serve God. Casual attire is acceptable. Come as you are and check the church out.
All are invited to attend the upcoming revival services on Aug. 23-25 beginning at 7 p.m at the church located at 5919 New Market Rd. Messages will be presented by Evangelist Tim Case. Singing will be provided by Robin McMillan on Aug. 23 and 25 and the Heart Song Trio on Aug. 24. Fellowship and refreshments will follow the service on Saturday, Aug. 25.
Submitted by New Market Community Church.