First Baptist Church of Plato will celebrate its 125th anniversary and dedicate a new belfry tower atop the church Sunday, Sept. 13.
Morning services begin around 10:30 a.m. A carry-in dinner will follow. Former pastors and those who wish to share items of historic interest are invited to attend.
The church went more than 70 years without a belfry tower for its historic bell, which dates back more than 100 years. It was placed on top of the church Monday morning.
The bell was donated by T.N. and Lucy Jane Williams around 1890. The church was a white frame building known as Antioch Baptist Church. It faced the Christian Church.
According to H.O. McLaughlin, a grandson of the Williamses, the bell fell from the belfry during the 1930s and was found lying in the entryway of the church. It was only used twice since that time – the 100th and 120th anniversaries, when it was brought from storage and placed on a temporary structure.
A fund was started recently for the bell tower. The belfry was built by Kenneth Lemmons, a former deacon who helped build the current sanctuary in the late 1980s.
The church was organized by John Christian Hicks on Sept. 13, 1884. It became known as Plato Baptist around 1912 and was renamed First Baptist Church of Plato in 2004.