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Licking Assembly of God celebrates 80 years

Photo by Christy Porter
Pastor Don Miller, Vicky Miller, Julie Richardson, Licking Assembly of God Pastor Paul Richardson, and Pastor Doug Clay.

By Christy Porter, Managing Editor

The Licking Assembly of God celebrated their 80th year anniversary on Sunday, with 240 people in attendance.

Sunday services were held beginning at 10 a.m., with church leadership and the music ministry presenting the program. Sharing memories and a special living history of the Assembly of God was Bob Johnson, a long-time member of the community.

Pastor Paul Richardson introduced long-time member Don Lutz and Bill Link, both of whom have supported the church, and Richardson and his wife over the long-term.

The Children’s Missionary Group did the collection in support of their missions.

Joyous sound filled the sanctuary as everyone joined the music ministry in singing and praise.

Pastor Doug Clay and Pastor Don Miller tag-teamed sharing the message that included pastoral history of others that originated from the Christian family in Licking. Both were in agreement that the Body of Christ is alive and well today.

A Cookie Reception was enjoyed after the service.

“I’m thankful for the history of Licking Assembly of God in this community and I hope we can be a blessing for many years to come,” said Pastor Paul Richardson.

The Licking Assembly of God was established on April 5, 1943, by Rev. Fred Stone. The original church building was located on Dorsey Street, with an addition added in 1954 by Pastor Cecil Welch; it was dedicated in April 1955. The church had an average membership of around 100 during the 1950s.

The old church building was torn down in the fall of 1983, and a new church was built on the same foundation by December of that same year. Rev. O.E. Gaddis, pastor for 30-plus years, oversaw the new construction, which was dedicated April 1, 1984. It has been said that the new church looked exactly like the church that it had replaced.

Membership had unfortunately dipped to approximately 20 in 2010, but has grown to over 200 members at present.

The church members renovated and moved into the current larger facility, located at the corner of Hwy. 63 and Hwy. 32, on January 1, 2017.

The Licking Assembly of God is in affiliation with the Assemblies of God USA at a national, district and local level. Following a Pentecostal Christian doctrine, the Licking Assembly of God was the first in the area, and spurred churches in the surrounding areas of Edgar Springs, Roby and Upton.

Pastorship has included Rev. Fred Stone, Mrs. Hester Downey, Rev. C.B. Glover, Rev. J.C. Washburn, Rev. Ward Pop Joy, Rev. Bosil Olinger, Rev. Cecil Welch, Rev. Kenneth Marshall, Rev. James Robert Hambree, Rev. Carl Hancock, Rev. and Mrs. O.E. Gaddis, and Rev. Anzel E. Shoults, who was followed by several interim pastors from circa 2004 until 2010, when Pastor Paul Richardson, originally from Koshkonong, began his leadership.

The fellowship supports communities locally with their women’s ministry, a vibrant kids’ ministry, community activities, and student and staff Back to School events. Regional missions include ensuring that foster care children in Texas County receive a birthday card, gift and picnic fare; food insecurity distribution; and single parent ministries. They open their doors for the Homeschool Association, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and Narcotics Anonymous. They also support missionaries located around the world.

Church services for Holy Week include a Good Friday evening service at 6:30 p.m.; a Holy Saturday service at 6:30 p.m.; and the Easter service on Sunday at 10 a.m.

Licking Assembly of God meets in Licking at 205 Hwy. 63. Weekly services are at 10 a.m. for Sunday Morning Worship, and 6:30 p.m. for Wednesday Adult & Youth Bible Study. All are welcome.

Photos by Christy Porter

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