Thankful Baptist Church, 1608 W. Allegheny Ave. in North Philadelphia, celebrated its 95th anniversary at a banquet filled with members and well-wishers from across the country who came for the occasion.

The anniversary celebration was held at the Radisson Hotel in Trevose on Saturday.

Pastor Gregory Ross said the church was celebrating its ministries in keeping with the church’s theme, “Serving God through ministry.”

“Today we are celebrating 95 years because the people of Thankful Baptist Church had a mind to work,” said Ross, who quoted the Bible’s Nehemiah Chapter 4, Verse 6: “So build me the wall and the wall was joined together unto the half thereof because the people had a mind to work.”

Pastor Alyn Waller of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, the keynote speaker for the anniversary celebration, called Thankful Baptist “one of the great, historic churches in the city.”

“I’ve had the benefit of knowing the last three pastors and it’s just a wonderful institution there in North Philly,” said Waller.

“It’s exciting. The church is important, and when any church does well we all succeed, when any church fails we all fail, and I just want to be supportive.”

Brenda Syrkett, chairperson of Thankful Baptist’s 95th Anniversary Committee, said the church has been looking forward to the celebration.

“We have been anticipating this event for a long time,” said Syrkett.

“We have had 95 years of ministry and have a rich legacy here at Thankful Baptist Church. Our pastor and first lady have a vision for our church and moving us forward and we are so happy to celebrate this grand occasion because many have gone on before us who laid the groundwork for us and we are continuing to work and serve in ministry,” she said.

“It’s just wonderful to see what this church has done over many years and through the ministries and just through the Lord using them so I’m excited for what God has for us as we journey towards 100,” said Rev. Beatrice Ross, first lady of the church.

A commemorative quilt created by church members was displayed at the celebration. Each member had been invited to create a portion of the quilt in squares. The squares reflected personal expressions of their time, experiences and memories of the church and were sewn together as one quilt.

“That quilt just says a lot about the history of this church and the support of the members of this church,” said Beatrice Ross. “It’s just beautiful and I look forward to hanging it in our church for our members and guests.”

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