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First Presbyterian Church of Donalsonville celebrates 125 years of faith and community

Dan and Mary Lou Ponder recognized 

for their steadfast presence within the church and beyond

Sunday, December 10  marked a significant milestone in the history of First Presbyterian Church of Donalsonville as the community came together to celebrate the church’s 125th anniversary. The congregation gathered for an exceptional service filled with gratitude, reflection, and a strong community spirit.

The historic church, located at the heart of Donalsonville, has been a pillar of faith and a center for community engagement for over a century. Old and new members joined in worship, marking the occasion with heartfelt prayers and hymns that echoed through the church’s hallowed halls.

Former Seminole Countian and church member Dr. Gary Spooner led the anniversary service. It was a celebration of the church’s rich history and an opportunity to honor the dedicated individuals who have played a vital role in shaping the community over the years.

During Sunday’s celebration, Dan and Mary Lou Ponder, two beloved former church members, were recognized and honored for their steadfast presence within the church and beyond.

Dan and Mary Lou Ponder have tirelessly contributed to the First Presbyterian Church and the broader Donalsonville community. Their selfless dedication and unwavering commitment to service have made a lasting impact on the lives of many.

As part of the anniversary festivities, Mark Hanna, Church Elder and a longtime congregation member, took the stage to express gratitude on behalf of the entire community. He presented the Ponders with a beautifully framed illustration of the church, a token of appreciation for their years of devoted service.

The heartfelt presentation was met with thunderous applause, and the congregation rose to their feet in a standing ovation. It was a moment of shared recognition and appreciation for the Ponders’ immeasurable contributions to the church and the lives they have touched within the Donalsonville community.

Dan Ponder commented, “As we drove back to Auburn, after enjoying the extraordinary celebration service and covered dish luncheon, I could not help bit think about debts.  I owe a debt to Donalsonville’s First Presbyterian Church that can never be repaid.  All I can do is try to make a difference for others the way this church family did for us.” See additional comments in Ponderings on page 5 in this edition.

The anniversary celebration didn’t end with the service; instead, it spilled into a joyous fellowship luncheon where members gathered to share dishes and stories. The potluck-style lunch was a testament to the strong sense of community that has been cultivated within the church over the past 125 years.

Church spokesperson  Joe Fisher  commented, “The anniversary celebration of the First Presbyterian Church of Donalsonville was a reminder of the enduring power of faith and community and the impact that individuals like Dan and Mary Lou Ponder can have on the lives of those around them. As the church looks ahead to the future, it does so with a deep sense of gratitude for its past and a commitment to continue serving as a beacon of light in the Donalsonville community.”

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