Somerset County Bible Society to hold its 190th annual meeting

This composition book was used for the minutes in 1918. The Somerset County Bible Society also has its minutes from its first meeting in 1828.

PRINCESS ANNE — One of the oldest continuously operating organizations of its kind in the United States has announced plans for its 190th year meeting.

 

The Somerset County Bible Society invites members and guests to learn about its work sharing the gospel and take part in its service starting 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 15 at Walker Memorial Church of God. The host pastor is the Rev. Tim Shawyer.

 

Participants are asked to bring a brown bag lunch for after the program, with the beverages and dessert provided by the church.

 

The guest speaker will be the Rev. David Webster, pastor of the Deal Island Charge of United Methodist churches which include Rock Creek in Chance, St. John’s in Deal Island and St. Paul’s in Wenona. Special music will be provided by Marilyn Laird.

 

Also expected to attend is David Moyer, executive director of the Maryland Bible Society, which was founded in Baltimore in 1810.

 

The Ladies Bible Society of Somerset County organized in 1828 and its minutes are still in existence, now housed at the Nabb Center at Salisbury University. At that time, women met in each other’s homes, and membership was by invitation.

 

Since 1960 the Somerset County Bible Society has included both men and women and members are considered to be anyone who contributes. Annual meetings are also now held in local churches.

 

Despite the passage of time, however, the mission remains the same — to provide Bibles and other religious tracts free to various facilities to include prisons, nursing homes, day cares, food pantries and shelters as well as to support those in the military.

 

Time has changed the way the Word is distributed, that is, it may be a large print Bible, one written in Spanish, in song, electronic formats to include DVDs or CDs, short inspirational pieces through seasonal tent cards, or a set of religious stories written specifically for children.

 

A report for activities from the prior year will be presented. During the March 2017 meeting at Mt. Olive UMC in Revell’s Neck it was reported there were 2,741 pieces of literature given away for the previous 12 months.

 

“It is important that the people of faith in our area churches come together in fellowship and support the work being done here to further the gospel,” stated President Gail Hall in her letter announcing the meeting. And “It is through your contributions and prayers that this ministry is possible.”

 

For those unable to attend but who would like to contribute, donations to the Somerset County Bible Society may be sent in care of Mrs. Verna Eby, 30900 Turkey Branch Road, Westover, Md. 21871.

 

The host site, Walker Memorial Church of God, is located at 11429 Hayman Drive off Stewart Neck Road. The Church of God denomination became national in 1886, and Walker Memorial is named in honor of the Rev. Paul H. Walker who preached the first Pentecostal message on Delmarva in Princess Anne in 1919.

 

The Princess Anne congregation organized in November 1969 with 10 charter members and the Rev. Philip Morris as pastor, purchasing its first church home, on Prince William Street and Beckford Avenue the following month. That building, which had originally been a Baptist church, is now a funeral home.

 

In 1994 members built their current sanctuary and it was dedicated that August of that year. A homecoming on its 50 years will be held in November 2019.

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