Bethlehem Baptist Church in Bremen has stood on Bethlehem Church Road for a very long time. Parts of the building were constructed around 1853, said Pastor T.J. Milam. The church, along with the parsonage and fellowship hall, will all be removed after the Dec. 10 tornado damaged the buildings beyond repair.
While the buildings might be a total loss, they are not what concerns Milam. He is committed to rebuilding, which will take time. More immediately, Milam is concerned with rebuilding his church community.
“I’m not concerned about the building, it’s who we are as a church family,” he said.
“We only missed that first Sunday after the storm,” Milam said. They have enjoyed the support of other churches in the area, and have found a more permanent place to hold Sunday services until they are able to build a new church. Bremen Elementary School will host the church of more than 100 members.
“We have a real opportunity to meet the needs of hurting people,” Milam said, “to help them find hope in Jesus Christ.”
Milam is working to hold his church family together while also dealing with the loss of his home. The parsonage is where he lived with his family. They are lucky to have much of their family in the Bremen area who are providing them with a place to live, Milam said.
Pastor at the church since July, 2021, Milam said he was brought up in the church, and like many others in the community, it was a place where so many special occasions took place. He was ordained there, proposed to his wife there, and was married there as well.
At this time, just having a place where his congregation can come together means so much to Milam. Services are held on Sundays at 11 a.m. at Bremen Elementary School.