Locust Grove Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate its 150th anniversary at its morning service Sunday.

The Rev. Melvin B. Lewis, a former pastor of Locust Grove who is now pastor of Rising Star M.B. Church in Tupelo, will speak at the service, which will start at 8 a.m.

The Rev.  William Morris, Locust Grove’s current pastor, said reaching the 150-year milestone is special.

“I’ve only shared 13 of those years with them, but it’s a great occasion,” he said.

Locust Grove was established in 1868 on Carrollton Avenue, led by the Rev. Pete Green. Its name was inspired by the locust trees nearby.

Members decided in 1950 to move the church to Broad Street, and the move was completed a year later. It remained there until 2014, when it moved to its current location on U.S. 82.

Morris said the new location has worked out very well. The church has more parking and more room to do its work, and he has seen a lot of first-time visitors.

“We’re seeing tremendous growth since we’ve been on the highway,” he said, adding that he expects it to continue.

He said he also would like to add an after-school program to help students.

“I think the future is very bright for Locust Grove,” he said.

Hazel Coleman, who is co-chair of the anniversary celebration along with Vinnie White, said the church has made a difference in the lives of many in the community, not just its members.

“To me, it’s a blesing from God,” she said.

Coleman, who also sings in the choir and serves on the kitchen committee, said Morris is a “god-sent” pastor. She and Morris also said Lewis provided good leadership in about 23 years there.

“I think he basically kind of set the stage for where Locust Grove is headed now,” Morris said. “He had a very disciplined church.”

Also this weekend, the church will host a health and fitness program beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, with nurses on hand to offer health checks and information on cholesterol, blood pressure and other issues. A picnic will follow at 10 a.m.

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