Galatia AME Church at 140

[photo from 7 July 2010 article in the NASHVILLE GRAPHIC]

(click on photo to enlarge)

“Galatia AME Church celebrates 140 years”

By: Amanda Clark, Graphic Staff Writer

From:  THE NASHVILLE GRAPHIC.  7 July 2010

One hundred and forty years and counting.

Galatia AME Church in Nashville recently celebrated its 140th anniversary with a special three-day celebration last weekend.

Galatia is one of the oldest churches in Nash County, having been organized in 1870 in a “bush arbor” by the Rev. L.B. Clark. The church later moved into an old building about a mile south of Nashville on Old Wilson Highway. The church moved to its current location at 320 Galatia Street in the Brooklyn Community around 1930.

The original building has seen several additions, including the church’s Parsonage in 1967 and the Fellowship Hall/Educational Annex in 1985

Many ministers have received their start at the pulpit of Galatia AME Church. Galatia has also been instrumental in several community-wide efforts.

Rev. D.L. Morrison, who was the church’s 38th pastor, was one of several special guests to attend events last weekend. Morrison served as the guest speaker during the afternoon services on Sunday, June 27.

Bernetta Ghist, who chaired the 140th anniversary celebration, said last weekend’s events were well received by the community.

“Those three days were outstanding,” she said. “It was everything I hoped for and more.”

Bernetta’s father, David Ghist, was a member of the church and was elected as Nashville’s first African American Town Councilman in 1969. He served as councilman for 14 years. Galatia AME initiated and organized the campaign to elect Ghist. Since David Ghist’s election to the board, four other members of the church have been elected to serve on Nashville’s Town Council.

“We have had five members on the town board,” Bernetta said. “2010 is the first year we don’t have a member on City Council.”

Those that have served include David Ghist, Robert Boddie, Jean Boddie, Frank Wright and Jacqueline Jeffers Wright.

Bernetta has been a member of Galatia AME since she was eight-years-old. She currently serves as a steward in the church and also serves as financial secretary of the church as well as the pastor’s secretary and secretary of the church.

Bernetta’s brother, David Ghist, II, is also an officer and member of Galatia AME Church. Their mother, Bernice, attends regularly as well.

Bernetta said she knew she wanted to be a part of the church’s 140th celebration.

“I thought it was a big milestone,” she said. “I really wanted it to be more than just a worship service.”

On Friday, June 25, the celebration kicked off with a Youth Revival. On Saturday, a Fellowship Picnic was held on the church grounds and on Sunday, the church held anniversary programs. The morning service featured the church’s current and 51st pastor, Rev. James Shearers. A special afternoon service featured Rev. David Morrison.

Bernetta said Sunday’s services were very special because the choir was very uplifting.

“I never heard them sound so good,” she said. “It was almost like a mini concert. The worship service was an hour longer than normal but I don’t think anybody noticed.”

Bernetta said she was thankful the town was so supportive the church’s anniversary. Nashville’s Town Council unanimously adopted a resolution naming June 27, 2010 as Galatia Day.

“I thought that was very spectacular,” Bernetta said. “It was a great resolution.”

Important moments in Galatia history:

Galatia has provided leadership that has enhanced the county’s public schools (as board members, parents and employees).

Galatia supported the now dissolved Kittrell College as well as other education institutions and scholarships.

The church facilities are used for community activities, such as the Men of the Community Fellowship monthly meetings. The men support many charities throughout each year.

In 1999, Galatia operated a Flood Relief Center.

Galatia has been operating a food bank since 1999.

Galatia started a Senior Luncheon and Bible Study program in 2002 that has been steadily growing over the years. For the elderly in the community that can’t attend, lunch is prepared and taken to them. Around 40 lunches are prepared weekly.

Galatia sponsors programming such as the Food Bank and the Clothes Closet that gives aid to the sick, bereaved and unfortunate as well as youth groups such as the Boy Scouts.

Other ministries and mission projects include: Christian Education Ministry, Food Bank and Senior Luncheon Ministry, Visitation Ministry, Prison Ministry, Van Ministry, Nursing Ministry, Tape Ministry and Women’s Prayer Ministry, Food Distribution Center, Literature for Inmates, Coats for Kids, Medicine Assistance Program, Food Basket Program an Back-to-School Kickoff.