Biloxi Church Blows Out 150 Birthday Candles

For 150 years, Coalville United Methodist Church in Biloxi has been filled with the sounds of Christian hymns and prayers. Some members say the best thing about the people there is that they are more concerned about uplifting the name of God than putting on airs.

"They're down to earth people. They're not snooty," said long time member C.M. Plummer. "They all believe in being equal with each other."

On Sunday morning, present and former church members came together to celebrate the church's founding in 1852 after the Read family donated the land. Some of them say as they sat in the pews, memories came flooding back of a church that has always offered them love, acceptance and words of encouragement.

Former church member Naomi Coleman said, "They helped support me through so many rough times as I came up with a single parent with three children. I just don't ever forget kindness shown to me and the strength from the church."

The original Coalville Methodist stood across the street where the church cemetery is now. It building burned down in the early 1900s. Church members say part of the reason Coalville has lasted so long is it's ability to adapt to change.

"You have the old families who have been here for a long time who continue to be a part of the community and the new people have moved in," said Rev. Dan Speed. "We have those relationships with those people as well."

The present church building is the third one to house Coalville United Methodist church. It was rebuilt a second time in the mid-1960's.