COLOMA/BOGARD – Coloma Baptist Church has marked 150 years of service to the Coloma area, despite the town itself dwindling significantly.
Pastor Marty Sykes said the celebration was marked on Oct. 9, 2022, and included a 25-year anniversary of a new building.
“The records don’t go back that far, but it’s pretty close to 150 years,” Sykes said.
Sykes admitted Coloma is “pretty well gone.”
Still, the church averages 45-60 people for Sunday attendance.
Sykes takes over from now pastor emeritus Bruce Trussell, who served the church for his 57 years of ministry, all at Coloma accounting for more than one third of the church’s existence.
The two men actually go back to the former’s high school years.
“Bruce was my vo-ag teacher in Tina-Avalon. His wife Evelyn was my history teacher. Most of the folks I knew at the church … had gone to school at Tina-Avalon,” Sykes said.
Sykes is bi-vocational, with his other role being a chaplain with the Missouri Department of Corrections in St. Joseph. He has been involved in various phases of ministry – youth pastor, interim pastor, and bivocational pastor – in other churches in northwest Missouri in his roughly 30 years of service. The other churches included Fawcett, Wakenda, Stewartsville, and Agency.
He only occasionally saw the Trussells in the time between his high school days, and the call to Coloma in July 2021.
Coloma Baptist participates in various benevolent outreach activities. A recent project was providing Christmas gifts for Missouri Baptist Home residents in Chillicothe. They also work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization.
Trussell and Sykes have a good working relationship in the church ministry. The Trussells are still part of the church.
“It’s a joy to have them (Evelyn and Bruce) here. He doesn’t interfere, but he will fill in for me if asked.”