BAGDAD — Bagdad United Methodist Church’s Annual Homecoming is set 10 a.m. Oct. 8.

The church, located at 4540 Forsyth St., Milton, celebrates 187 years as a congregation in Bagdad and 132 years in the same sanctuary.

“Our guest speaker for homecoming will be our former pastor from 1996 -2000, Rev. Barry Dickson, Jr,” a media release states. “After worship service, Bagdad UMC Women of Grace will be offering a church cookbook and a commemorative mug for sale to help raise funds for needs in the church.”

Here are some facts about Bagdad UMC:

The first congregation was established in 1830 and the present sanctuary was built in 1885.
The church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was one of the first in Northwest Florida to begin the homecoming tradition in 1956.
This little white church has been through many challenges through out the years. From a brush arbor on the Blackwater River to construction of the first building, two world wars, lightning strikes to the steeple in 1912 and 1993, the local saw mill closing and Hurricane Ivan’s damage in 2004.

“Along with the sanctuary we have the Ella Cobb Educational building built in 1955-56 and dedicated on the first homecoming day,” the release states. “In 2003, a new fellowship hall was built with offices and kitchen and a large dining hall.

“Our fellowship hall has hosted many local groups for meetings, banquets and training seminars. And through it all we're still standing strong in love, worship and fellowship.”