HED:St. Paul celebrates 130 years

AUTHOR: ARMIST

HED:St. Paul celebrates 130 years

By John Armistead

Daily Journal

St. Paul United Methodist Church in Tupelo will celebrate its 130th anniversary July 29-30.

James Agnew, a Jackson attorney, will speak at the banquet, which will be held in the church’s Christian life center Saturday night at 6:30. On Sunday there will be two special services in the sanctuary, a memorial service at 11 a.m., and an inspirational worship service at 3 p.m.

The property on which the church is located was acquired in 1870, the same year Tupelo was established, and designated for use for services and ministries of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

The first of St. Paul’s three buildings was a small wood framed structure, hardly more than an “outdoor gazebo,” according to church records. It was demolished in 1918 in order to build a well-appointed brick church.

This second building was destroyed in the April 5, 1936, tornado. The Rev. George C. Coleman had been assigned as pastor of the church five months earlier. He and his family died in the storm.

With a loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the church built again on the same spot utilizing the foundation from the previous building. This building was completely renovated in 1975.

The Rev. George Pulliam has served as pastor of St. Paul for 18 years.

“This is a time of celebrating,” he said. “People can look back from whence they have come. Some can see the hardship and the joys. Even now some tell me about the struggles they had just getting the roof.”

The celebration also helps the congregation focus ahead, according to Pulliam.

“It refuels and re-energizes us for the future,” he said. “We have a past to remember and a future to mold. This generation will write the next chapter of the next 130 years.”

Banquet speaker Clark, a native of Ackerman, was managing attorney with the North Mississippi Rural Legal Services for two years before going into private practice.

He is well-known for his involvement with tobacco-related cases. He was one of the lawyers selected by Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore to represent the State of Mississippi against the tobacco industry in 1994, a litigation which resulted in multi-billion dollar settlement for the state.

In addition to his law practice, Clark is president and CEO of Deltadisc Records, Inc., a Nashville-based record label founded by Clark.

For more information, phone 842-0597 or 844-6959.