The ‘Grove celebrates 100 years

Published 7:59 pm Monday, September 28, 2009

Pardon me while I pen a little “housekeeping of the mind.”

For openers, congratulations to my home church, Ashley’s Grove Baptist, on officially celebrating their 100th year.

Throughout this year, the church membership has held a series of centennial events. Last Sunday (Sept. 20) was the biggie – a formal homecoming. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to a prior commitment (photographing the wedding of Ashley Gore and Chris Harmon, who were married on the beach at Nags Head). When I saw that the Ashley’s Grove homecoming and the wedding were on the same day, my heart sank just a bit, but I had promised Ashley that I would shoot her wedding and if a man is not true to his word, then he’s not much of a man.

While I wasn’t at Ashley’s Grove on this historic day, I was with Ashley. Life can be so ironic at times.

According to my sister, Cindy, the Ashley’s Grove homecoming was fantastic….the church was full and two former pastors – Rev. Jack Painter (1958-1961) and Rev. Tim Sellers (1970-1977) brought the message.

Ashley’s Grove will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s where I was baptized; where my sister was married; and where my mom and dad (both buried in the church cemetery) were extremely active.

The church building is merely brick and mortar; the real church is all those special people that call Ashley’s Grove as home.

While offering congratulations, here’s one for the North Carolina-Virginia Railroad Company. At long last, the company has made repairs to the First Street and Hayes Street crossings in Ahoskie. As a local motorist, thanks for finally making those crossings safe to drive across without the fear of knocking my vehicle’s front end out of line. Now, the Town of Ahoskie needs to follow suit and repave both streets, especially Hayes. I’ve driven on farm paths smoother than Hayes Street.

Hats off to Marlo Ricks of Conway. Last week in Jackson, I was invited to cover her accepting the oath as a lawyer. I remember covering her athletic exploits at Northampton County High School-East. One could easily see in her younger years that she was one day going to make a big splash in life…and so she did. Good luck in your chosen profession.

Speaking of making a big splash, here’s a shout-out to Esther Lassiter and the Gates Partners for Health for their third annual Family Fun and Fitness Day held this past Saturday. The Gates County Community Center was buzzing with activity, indoors and out. Esther orchestrated an outstanding event, one with a focus on healthy living.

For those of you who missed it, be sure to catch the fourth annual event in September of 2010.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.