FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) —When the First Baptist Church of Sandy Creek, N.C., was founded, the United States did not exist.

The year was 1755, and two recent converts to the Baptist faith, both products of the revival preaching of the First Great Awakening, made their way into a very rural and isolated Randolph County. They founded their church there — and it’s still alive today.

Shubal Stearns and Daniel Marshall both believed that they would be well received among the settlers in North Carolina. The settlers favored emotional, expositional preaching to the confounding, high-church style displayed in churches in the North and in Charleston, S.C. Within a few years, the church had drawn more than 600 members.

Now 250 years old, the First Baptist Church of Sandy Creek will celebrate its birthday Nov. 6. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, will speak at the church during its morning worship service. The worship service begins at 10 a.m.

Travis Brock, pastor of the Sandy Creek church, said he asked Patterson to preach the service because he believes “he shares the evangelistic passion of Shubal Stearns.”

“I also chose him because of his leadership role in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention, in helping bring it back to the Word of God,” Brock said. “When I was at Southeastern Seminary, we always had ‘Sandy Creek Week,’ a week of revival services. You could tell by Dr. Patterson’s attitude in that week the connection he felt with the founders of this church.”

“What happened 250 years ago at Sandy Creek began a genuine church planting movement resulting in hundreds of churches in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia,” Patterson said.  “To be a part of the 250th anniversary of that event is a profound honor for me.”

The First Baptist Church of Sandy Creek is located 4765 Sandy Creek Church Road, Liberty, NC, 27298. For more information, contact Travis Brock at 336-622-7414.