The celebration of a milestone anniversary is an opportunity to involve the church family in discovering and sharing the church’s history – within the church and to the community.
A separate anniversary committee which includes the chairperson of the history committee is suggested. Elected at least 2 years prior to the celebration.
- The congregation should decide the date and time of the celebration.
- Determine time span of celebration activities. A full month of activities prior to the celebration date will take more planning but the impact is much more significant when culminated in a weekend of activities.
- Create needed committees to serve with existing ones. Determine committees before enlisting personnel.
- Media Committee
- Music Committee
- Decoration/Flower Committee
- Drama/Costume Committee
- Hospitality/Welcoming Committee
- Invitation/Registration Committee
- History Committee
- Nursery Committee
- Publicity Committee
- Exhibit Committee
- Discuss and assign committee personnel to be enlisted by steering committee members.
- Agree on regular meeting dates for follow-up on committee assignments.
- Decide if a history or supplement will be written and who will write it.
Finalize committee assignments and personnel.
Meetings to Follow
- Work with the church staff in promoting all activities.
- Notify each committee chairman of the meeting dates for progress reports.
Meeting to Plan Program
- Plan a schedule of activities for the celebration day or weekend. Consider not limiting the celebration to a Sunday morning service, i.e., Saturday afternoon fellowship time, Saturday night birthday party with fireworks, Saturday banquet, reception, Sunday morning fellowship.
- Secure speakers to participate in services.
- Invite former members, church staff (use a reply card when appropriate).
- Present schedule of changes of regular activities in a regular business meeting, prior to celebration.
- Plan to mail letters of appreciation to participants after celebration.
- Advertise celebration activities in church newsletter, Baptist Message, and local paper
Responsibilities of Other Committees
- Secure video camera and operator to record activities. Identify as many people as possible.
- Arrange photographing activities.
- Present a slide show or previously taped videos of other church activities with assistance from the history committee.
Book Sales Committee
(Needed if history or history supplement is published)
- Make arrangements for promoting and selling books.
- Secure a person to sell books at designated areas during the celebration.
- Encourage church members to wear period clothing to celebration activities.
- Make pattern sources available for period clothing for ladies, men, girls, and boys.
- Working with the history committee, plan a dramatic presentation of some aspect of the church’s history skit, play, a reenactment working with costume committee
- Arrange for decorations and flowers for celebration activities inside and outside the church.
- Provide corsages and/or boutonnieres for special guests.
- Coordinate with hospitality committee to decorate registration area, dining area, etc.
- Mark reserved pews for special guests.
- Plan a display area divided into segments of the church’s history, possibly by time periods.
- Assign divisions to segments of church family, such as Sunday School departments, to decorate.
- Encourage the collection and use of photos, memorabilia, furniture, newspaper articles – the more diverse the better!
- Assist the writer of the church history by securing material from the church minutes, associational minutes, Louisiana Baptists’ Archives, SBC Library and Archives, local newspaper and history questionnaire for older church members.
- Arrange with media committee to record interviews with older members.
- Arrange for the proper care and storage of historical materials collected.
- Submit historical highlights for inclusion in church publications throughout celebration period.
- Enlist church members to share vignettes from church past.
- Provide information for use by costume/drama committee.
- Arrange for reception on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning snack
- Plan lunch for Sunday noon – food, serving, tables, etc.
- Coordinate table decorations with flower committee.
- Place activity information in bulletin with reservation request form to be turned for an idea on how many tables, meals, etc.
- Enlist deacons and other members to greet people at specific locations, possibly in period clothing
- Secure and provide wheelchairs when needed.
- Invite former members and special guests. Obtain special guest list from Steering Committee. (Include local public officials, legislators, congressmen, LA Baptist Convention staff, even the White House –they will respond!)
- Print and mail invitations. (w/ RSVP info or return cards) Include statement, “If housing is needed please contact.” and coordinate housing and meals as necessary.
- Encourage members to contact family and friends.
- Coordinate with program committee in securing a musical group, if planned, and assist the group with all arrangements – housing, meals, sound, etc.
- Research hymns popular for early years of the church and plan to incorporate them in celebration activities and coordinate with the music director to plan hymns and specials.
Arrange for childcare during all celebration activities. The age-limit may need to be raised for special events. Encourage special activities i.e. birthday cake, ribbons, balloons, etc.
(Subcommittees are suggested)
- Sponsor a contest for a slogan to be used on stationery, badges, ribbons, mugs, plates, T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.
- Arrange for the printing/production and sale of above items.
- Prepare newspaper articles, announcements for newsletter and notices (don’t forget Baptist Message).
- Prepare TV and radio spot announcements (some stations announce church celebrations for FREE).
- Request a proclamation by the mayor for the celebration.
- Arrange for local media and Baptist Message to cover activities.
- Arrange to make a record of all attending culminating celebration activities. Secure loose-leaf notebook with parchment-look pages and black ink pens.
- Locate registration tables at several points in the building and provide name tags at each location.
- Enlist members to assist with registration (suggest they dress in period clothes).
- Give registration sheets to history committee after the celebration is over.
Suggested Promotional Items
- Bumper sticker
- Program Buttons
- Funeral fan
- Christmas ornament
- Key chain
It is important for each committee to work together to have a fun and well-organized celebration!
Remember, inviting the community is a great way to bring others into the church family and share God’s WORD!
For more help and information on any of these activities, please call Karon McCartney, Archivist, for Louisiana Baptists at 1.800.622.6549 ext. 300 or e-mail Karon.McCartney@LouisianaBaptists.org.