Samford University will host a service of gratitude at Ruhama Baptist Church at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28, as part of Homecoming Weekend activities. The service will commemorate the special relationship that the University and the church have shared for more than 100 years. The public is invited.
The church was attended by many faculty, staff and students during Howard College's East Lake days. Samford, established in 1841, is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. Ruhama, established in 1819, plans to close at the end of the year.
The close relationship began in the 1880s, when the church's first fulltime pastor, Eldred B. Teague, was an advocate for moving Howard College from its original location in Marion to the East Lake area served by Ruhama.
Former Ruhama members Drs. Lee and Catherine Allen will preside at the service of gratitude.
Dr. Allen, university historian, wrote the Sesquicentennial History of Ruhama on the occasion of the church's 150th anniversary in 1969. Mrs. Allen grew up in the church and wrote and produced its sesquicentennial pageant. She is the daughter of longtime Ruhama member Betty Lou Bryant.
Program participants also include Samford president Thomas E. Corts and former Ruhama members Jimmie Lyn Bounds, Dr. John Carter, Grace Marquez, Jim Stivender, Arthur Walker and Ruric Wheeler.
Dr. Betty Sue Shepherd, who was organist at the church for many years, will play. Dr. Timothy Banks will direct the Samford Chorale.
A reception will follow the program.