Church to mark 150th anniversary

Published 11:19 pm Thursday, August 11, 2016

Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church will celebrate its 150th church anniversary this Sunday at 3 p.m. The church’s pastor the Rev. Lawrence Wofford said all of the church’s former pastors and their families have been welcomed back to help celebrate the milestone.

“I think it’s significant because we need to know from which we’ve come,” Wofford said. “Sometimes we get lost and we don’t remember, we don’t give due credit to the people that have labored to bring us to this point.”

The guest preacher will be the Rev. Greg Harris, pastor of the Jackson Chapel and Petty’s Memorial AME Zion Church and the presiding elder of the Jefferson District. Wofford, who is entering his third year as pastor at Clinton Chapel, said at one time the church was one of the largest in Selma.

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“We have transitioned over here,” Wofford said. “We used to be the major church or one of the major churches in Selma.”

Membership has fallen over the years, but Wofford said the church played a major role in the civil right movement and is now listed with the National Historic Register.

“We housed some of the first meetings of the civil rights movement,” Wofford said. “We surely didn’t (play the role) a sacred place like Brown Chapel did because most of all the marches, Brown Chapel became the focal point of the movement, but we played a similar part in that.”

The church will hold an early morning service around 8:30 a.m. Sunday and then will prepare for the evening service, where the anniversary will be celebrated. The church is located at 615 Green Street in Selma.