By JOEL McNEECE
Jackson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Bruce celebrated its 80th anniversary Sunday by opening the doors to a brand new church building.
The church has met in Cinema 22 on the Bruce Square for the past year as the major renovation took place.
“The overwhelming sentiment Sunday was there’s no place like home,” Pastor Thomas Tillman said. “It was great to be back at the place we fondly know as Jackson Chapel.”
The church celebrated the new building with a large luncheon in the fellowship hall and a Sunday afternoon service.
The exact date of the church’s founding isn’t known. The first written documentation reflects it was organized in 1929, two years after the incorporation of the City of Bruce.
The first church building was completed in 1929 under the leadership of Pastor E. Fields on what was then the Negro school campus.
Services continued in that building until integration when the church was relocated to its current site in Chandler’s subdivision.
Groundbreaking was held on that 4,000 square foot facility in November 1971.
A new fellowship hall, classrooms and an office were added in 1990.
The current renovation project, which more than tripled the size of the sanctuary, began in October 2008.
“We are venturing out to a new beginning,” Rev. Tillman said. “We have a renewed vision for the church. It’s an exciting time for us.”
Jackson Chapel Pastors
E.H. Crump, founder
E. Fields 1929-40
D.L. Tuggler 1940-50
J.C. Battest 1952-86
Percy McCord 1986-2003
Thomas Tillman 2004-