ALCESTER, S.D. (KCAU)- On Sunday a rural Siouxland church is celebrating their 150-year anniversary.
Big Springs Baptist Church resides in between Nora, Alcester, Hawarden, and Chatsworth. It’s located right in the middle of rural America and has been apart of all of those communities for 150 years.
“I’ve been here for 83 years my mother brought me here since I was two weeks old so I think I’m not the oldest member but I’m getting in there close,” said Jim Eldafstedt, a parishioner.
In the last 150 years, Big Springs Baptist church has grown and changed before many paritioners eyes.
“Rural churches are generally at a disadvantage, actually Big Springs have been at an advantage because we sit kinda equidistance between Nora, Akron, Chatsworth and Hawarden and so we attract folks from all of these towns,” said Eldafstedt.
To celebrate the milestone 3 previous pastors and many past parishioners came back into town to celebrate.
“The congregation has continued to thrive out here in the country so we give God the glory for all that has happened through all of this experience,” said previous pastor Daryl Runion.
“We have elderly people, we have a few young families, we come from all different backgrounds we come from different communities I think we pull from 4 or 5 different communities,” said lead pastor J.B. Hinote.
The congregation has continued to welcome families to their church.
“They have just received us and we feel like a big family so it’s been that way since the very beginning and it continues to be so,” said Gina Lawson, a parishioner.
The church hopes to make it to the next big milestone, but they say it’s hard in rural America.
“The rural population continues to get smaller and so the challenge will be to try to keep up with that and even then to attract the younger people in the community,” said Runion.
Hundreds of people came out to this mornings mass, with many past paritioners driving long distances to take part in the major milestone.