The historic Union Baptist Church, located near Thomson, has been named the 2009 Ornament of Hope by officials with the Easter Seals of East Georgia.
"It is truly a pleasure to partner with you to celebrate the rich heritage and historical significance that this church and its membership has held in this community since its establishment in 1809," said Jill Rumbaugh, events coordinator and information manager for Easter Seals. "This ornament represents the 16th in our series of ornaments."
The adults served by Easter Seals have varied disabling conditions, said Ms. Rumbaugh. "These disabilities serve as barriers to getting and or keeping a job," she explained to the more than 200 people who packed the sanctuary of the church for its 200th anniversary.
"Easter Seals would just like to thank The Rev. Butch Baston, Pat Baston and the membership of Union Baptist Church for allowing us to use historic church as our 2009 Ornament of Hope," said Ms. Rumbaugh.
She also publicly thanked Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry and members of city council for proclaiming the 24-carat on brass ornament as the official ornament of the city. Ms. Rumbaugh presented Rev. Baston with a framed proclamation from the mayor and council members.
Ms. Rumbaugh also thanked local merchants along with Dozier Realty, area banks and Century 21 real estate offices which serve as ornament purchase sites each year.