Historic church celebrates 125 years

WARRIOR, AL (WBRC) - A historic Warrior, AL church celebrated its 125th anniversary Sunday.

The St. James United Methodist Church is known to many locals as "the church at the fork" as it sits at a fork in the road near Main Street.

St. James current building was built in 1969, 6 years after the previous structure was burned to the ground by an arsonist.

The church has served Warrior's African-American community since 1884.

Emma Porter joined the church in 1946 when her husband Oliver Porter, Jr. came to be the pastor. It was Rev. Porter who helped lead the church during the 6 years it met in an abandoned schoolhouse after the fire, and Mrs. Porter said her late husband would have had the same reaction to this milestone as she did: "speechless, there aren't words. Elated," Porter said.

The church has held 4 days of celebration culminating with a Sunday service and dinner on the lawn. Senior members like Porter say they're looking towards the future, not the past.

"I want them to go out and bring in more people so it will be a big better, no not better, couldn't be better, a bigger church," Porter said.