COPPERAS COVE — The pews at Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church were filled with almost 100 people Sunday afternoon for its annual Founders’ Day celebration marking the church’s 34th anniversary.
The Rev. S.D. McMullen and his wife, Anne, church founders and the only charter members remaining in the church, greeted people as they arrived. Anne McMullen and other women wore traditional outfits of a bonnet and blue apron; blue is the church’s traditional color.
Anne McMullen’s bonnet was 75 years old and came from her family in Mississippi.
“We wanted to look at where God has brought us from and what he’s doing for us today,” she said. “Wearing these outfits help show our respect and appreciation for the past.”
The celebration featured music by the 12-member choir and band, which led the congregation in singing the church’s theme song, “The Little Brown Church in the Wildwood.”
Guest speaker Clarence Drummond of the United Faith Church in Copperas Cove has known the McMullens since 1975. He said S.D. McMullen is a “one of a kind” person.
“We are all truly blessed to have Pastor and Sister McMullen and the light they shine in the community,” he said.
S.D. McMullen made the crowd roar with laughter and praise when he compared living one’s dreams to baking a cake.
“You just don’t drop in all the ingredients at once,” he said. “You put them in one at a time in the right amounts and stir slowly until it’s all smooth.”
Church and community members took the opportunity to speak words of appreciation for the church.
Ella Walker, a 20-year church member, called the McMullens dynamic spiritual leaders.
“I don’t think the church would be the same without them,” she said.
Carolyn Williams, who made her own bonnet and apron, saw the celebration as a new beginning.
“It’s always wonderful to reflect on accomplishments,” she said.
After the program, James Wyche, 84, a Vietnam veteran and Copperas Cove resident, reflected on the evening, saying he liked how the celebration brought all types of people together.
“We’ve come a long way, and I pray to God that we see many more celebrations,” he said.