Church Celebrates 200 Years in Southern Illinois

Church Celebrates 200 Years in Southern Illinois
By: Carly O'Keefe
Elizabethtown, IL - Paul Patton of Hardin County has seen a lot in his day, he's now 92-years-old. Much of it has centered around the First Baptist Church of Elizabethtown.
"I've seen it change quite a bit over the years," said Patton.
Patton's grandmother was among the settlers to form the original congregation back in 1806. Patton's family involvement isn't limited to history. It is also the present and future for his son, three daughters, nieces and nephews.
"Mother and dad brought us to this church from the time we were born. We were all saved in this church and we all got married in this church. It's got quite a history for us," said Patton's daughter Grace Tison.
The church's history hasn't always been smooth sailing. It's stood through the depression, fires and floods.
"The 1913 flood and the '37 flood. In '37 the water was up above the entry doors, it's been through at least three fires that we know of including the day of commemoration of when the church was built. So, we have survived a great deal in order to be here today," said First Baptist Church of Elizabethtown Pastor Edward Lafferty.
This weekend, the congregation of First Baptist celebrates 200 years as a continued presence in Hardin County. The members are a group of folks who've become family over the years; if not by blood, at least through shared history.
"We have our ups and downs as any church does, but we love the lord and he has blessed us, and we just continue on," said Lafferty.