WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church has been in commission for more than 10 decades, 155 years to be exact, since 1865.
Their birthday celebration is one that’s fitting for anything of such a lifespan.
It’s a year-long celebration that will honor a specific part of the community each month, with the theme “Living Out Our Lives According to God’s Plan”.
January’s dedication is to members 85 years of age and older.
Members of the congregation say the church itself can be a testament to everything the city has been through.
“It really represents a history of a people who did so much with so little," said Pastor Thomas O. Nixon.
"When you think about 1865 and what people of color during that time had and to see this building and see it today and to know it was built by people of 1865, to me personally it is a testament to ones faith.”
Local official Julia Boseman, representative Deb Butler, along with Mayor Bill Saffo also recognized how significant this year is for the church.
Celebrations will continue at each service throughout the year.