Vicksburg Nazarenes to mark denomination’s 100th year|Local church will join national celebration

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 27, 2008

Members of Vicksburg First Church of the Nazarene are preparing to join with worldwide Nazarene churches to mark the 100th anniversary of the denomination’s founding.

On Oct. 5, Nazarene churches around the world — 18,000 churches in 151 different areas across all 24 time zones — will be hearing the same sermon and readings and celebrate with the same music, said the Rev. Kuhrman Cox, pastor of Vicksburg’s Nazarene church.

The local church is also hosting a four-day revival beginning Sunday, with the centennial celebration to follow next week, said Cox.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“The folk have sure put a lot of work into getting ready for it,” Cox said. “It has been fantastic how they have come together to work and prepare.”

The revival, set for Sunday through Wednesday, was planned before the anniversary. But the coincidental timing is expected to add to the general air of spiritual celebration the church is experiencing, Cox indicated. Contemporary music evangelist Marcus Whitworth will be Sunday’s guest preacher.

The Church of the Nazarene was founded in October 1908 in Pilot Point, Texas, with roots in the Methodist Church, Cox said. “One of our contributions to the church world is to stress the work of holiness in the life of the believer — our sanctification. Our church is needed because there is a call in the word to the holy life.”

If you go

Revival at Vicksburg First Church of the Nazarene, 3428 Wisconsin Ave., will be at 10:50 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday and will continue from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. The church’s 100th anniversary celebration will be Oct. 5 and will include fellowship, prayer and meditation at 9:30 a.m., a church service at 10:30 and dinner afterward. For information, call 601-634-0082.

At Vicksburg First Church of the Nazarene, the call is manifested in terms of service to other members and to needy people in the community, Cox said. A men’s group there has been involved in service activities for the elderly, for example, and the church also has an Hispanic ministry which includes periodic joint worship services.

“I just feel blessed to be the pastor right now,” Cox said. “We have a very wonderful, caring group of people.”

Vicksburg First Church of the Nazarene was established in 1939. The church comprises about 20 families and 126 voting members, Cox said. They have been at their Wisconsin Avenue location since 1992, in one large building that houses a multipurpose room with a sanctuary and altar on one side, a fellowship hall with a kitchen, Sunday school and nursery areas, and general church offices. Cox hopes they build a formal church building in the future.

The special sermon that Cox will preach Oct. 5 at the anniversary service was written by Jesse Middendorf, one of six general supervisors of the worldwide Church of the Nazarene.

Headquarters for the Nazarene church will move from Kansas City to Lenexa, Kan., on Wednesday, but the Nazarenes will maintain graduate theological seminaries in North America, Central America, and Asia; liberal arts colleges in Africa, Canada, Korea, and the United States; hospitals in Swaziland, India and Papua New Guinea; radio broadcasts in 30 languages; and printed materials in 103 languages.

Besides special, identical sermons planned for the 100th anniversary celebration, Nazarene churches worldwide will have received and heard identical sermons over the past two weeks, as the worldwide church has prepared to mark the anniversary. The first Sunday, Cox preached on “The church as a covenant community,” and last Sunday he spoke on “The church as the body of Christ.” Guest evangelist Whitworth will preach on the topic of “The church as a temple of God,” Cox said.