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POSTED: October 12, 2009 10:38 a.m.
There is something special about returning to our local churches — coming home. It does not matter how far you have traveled or how many churches you have attended, returning home is exciting.
One tradition that is still popular in many area churches is the annual homecoming day. Some churches celebrate “homecoming” in the spring, while others have festivities in the fall. Events usually include preaching, singing and plenty of tasty food.
Congregations look forward to homecoming celebrations, when they get to see former members who have left churches or moved away. Everyone enjoys the opportunity to visit with old friends. Sometimes, former parishioners travel great distances to attend homecomings.  
On the big day, the ladies of the churches love to prepare their favorite dishes and baked goods. These delectable treats are often one of the main attractions. Instead of serving dinner in the church fellowship or social hall, the homecoming meal is normally eaten out on the church grounds.
In the old days, there were no fellowship halls. People enjoyed eating outside in the fresh air, surrounded by colorful fall foliage. The lush green grass served as an inviting spot to sit and visit.
In keeping with tradition, members of the Fleming Baptist Church in Fleming will have their annual homecoming services at 11 a.m. today.
“This is an annual event, which is always held on the second Sunday in October,” Pastor Major Dykes said. “The church has always had a homecoming service. It is a time for former members, family and friends to return back to the church for a time of fellowship. We are looking forward to homecoming. Friends and neighbors come to help us celebrate.”  
Dykes has been Fleming Baptist’s pastor for seven years.
“We are expecting about 150 people,” he said. This year’s speaker is the interim pastor of Elim Baptist Church in Ludowici, Pastor Mike Howard.
Dinner will be served at noon. Local recording artists Donna Jackson and Redeemed of Midway, and Greg Wilson of Gum Branch will perform in the afternoon.
Dykes and Fleming Baptist Church invite the public to join them for homecoming. For more information, call 884-7499.

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
 

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