Greater Sixty-Aid Baptist Church members celebrated the church’s long history Aug. 24 with a service and reception.

The church originated when a group of 60 Christian men gathered to sing praises and worship under a stand of palmetto trees, church officials said.

In 1876, the group organized as the Sixty-Aid with the leadership of the Rev. Dick Harris.

The first formal gathering place for the group was a 30-foot wooden structure on Old Perkins Road. A bell tower was situated on four wooden posts in front of the building and an outhouse was out back, officials said.

The building was illuminated with oil lanterns.

In 1936, when the building was remodeled to add indoor plumbing and electrical fixtures, the bell tower was brought inside the sanctuary.

Greater Sixty-Aid Baptist Church moved into a new sanctuary at 4510 Rabey St. in 1942. The Rev. W.M. Pitcher led the congregation through its growth until the Rev. Reginald L. Pitcher joined the church in 1995.

In April 2004, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the church’s current location, 655 Gardere Lane.

The Rev. James R. Barrett Sr. has lead the congregation for the past six years.

Dennis R. Hebert Jr. of Beacon Light Baptist Church of Hammond spoke at the anniversary celebration.

Editors’s note: This story was changed on Sept. 18 to delete information listed about the church’s assistant pastor. The Rev. James Barrett Jr. is not the church’s assistant pastor.