Church celebrates milestone anniversary

Published: May. 6, 2018 at 8:18 PM EDT
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An Eastern Carolina congregation filled the pews Sunday morning to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Hollywood Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Greenville.

The church started as a Sunday school in the 1920s, but by 1943 it became the Hollywood Presbyterian Church.

Normally about 80 people attend Sunday Services, but this week, despite the rain, an even larger crowd showed up to celebrate.

"Closed in our tent so everybody's forced to stay inside and eat today but I don't think anybody's complaining," Pastor Keith Cobb said.

Some members of the congregation have seen plenty of rainy Sundays. Lucille Diener was a founding member of the church back n 1943. Diener is almost 90 now, but still remembers the days when Hollywood church started as two-room Hollywood School.

"I started to Sunday School here, and we met in the cars," Diener said.

The children would sit in the back during class while teachers appropriately took the driver's seat.

Decades later, Sunday's service honored that history with prayer and a slide-show with memories of years passed.

"We have got a community connection right now," Cobb said.

Pastor Cobb hopes to continue to reach out to the community, especially young people and mothers.

The church started a baby supply pantry in the fall and also offers music scholarships to ECU and Pitt Community College students.

"We really want to do a better job of just making our presence felt, making the people in this area sense that it's a good thing we're here, cause we're glad they're here," Cobb said.

The pastor and his congregation are constantly thinking about the future, and have plans to start construction on parts of the church in the next three years.