Mud Lake church celebrates 75th anniversary

Former and current Mud Lake Community Baptist Church pastors stand together at the pulpit during the celebration of the church’s 75th anniversary. From left to right are former pastors Richard Axmann and Jim Rogers and current pastor Steve Morreale.

On Sept. 29, the communities of Hamer, Monteview, Mud Lake, Terreton, Kilgore, Dubois, Roberts, Idaho Falls and other places celebrated 75 years of existence for the Community Baptist Church in Mud Lake.

The regular Sunday service took place at 10 a.m. with many special guests in the church that day. After the morning celebration there was a luncheon at the local senior center.

To start off the morning, current pastor Steve Morreale gave words of welcome. Mayor of Mud Lake, Sherry Locascio, offered congratulatory remarks. Shawna Bare, a church leader and regular attendee, gave the opening prayer.

The first worship music was led by Dave and Susan Brooks with their guitars and voices along with Mahdi Underwood on trumpet. Pastor Emeritus Richard Axmann, who served in Mud Lake the years of 1965 to 1969, spoke the first message from the Holy Bible and went on to share positive memories from his time in the area.

More worship music came next. It was led by Craig Bischke, Sharon Burst and Mahdi Underwood. Wes Wadsworth read letters from former pastors and others who wrote recollections and congratulations.

Kay Bare, another regular attender and longtime church leader, then recognized the special guests. Some of those guests were: Ellen Patterson, widow of Pastor Dave Patterson — they served in Dubois and Mud Lake from 1969 to 1974; Their daughter Rebecca Copley and her daughter Anna — all of them live in Spokane now; former pastor Richard and his wife Donna Axmann — who served in Mud Lake 1965 to 1969; and former pastor Jim Rogers and his wife Elaine — who served in Mud Lake 1997 to 2004.

Following the holy sacrament of communion, Pastor Jim Rogers shared comments about his time at the Mud Lake church. He recalled memories of spending time at Stoddard Creek Campground near Spencer when the Dubois and Mud Lake churches would have summer camp-outs there. At the conclusion of Rogers’s comments, Dean Wadsworth led the congregation in country-style music including his song “Pass it on Down!” Eventually, the music changed to hymns, which were the same hymns sung in 1950 at the church’s dedication service.

To end the church service there was a responsive reading led by current pastor Steve Morreale; the same one used in 1950. Kay Bare gave the closing prayer, and the celebration continued at the luncheon.

Angie (Osborne) English led a group singing round of a Sunday school song that was introduced to many church attendees years ago by Ellen Patterson. The song is “The Lord is my Shepherd.” English also read a letter about days in the Mud Lake church written by her brother Craig Osborne. The afternoon meal was accompanied by much chatting and reminiscing. The celebration concluded with a 75-year anniversary cake.