On Sunday, Aug. 22 at 4 p.m., the annual worship service at the Old South Cushing Church on Salt Pond Road will be held, fulfilling a 1976 agreement with the members of the Baptist Church, when the structure was deeded to the Cushing Historical Society for preservation. The society promised that the church would not be modernized; no heat, water, or electricity are available. However, the society is pleased to announce the addition of a permanent handicap ramp and entrance at the rear of the building (call 354-6351 for more information). The public is welcome. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

For this annual service, Baptist hymns are sung, using the church hymnals. Presently, fitting the interests of the broader community, the annual service is more eclectic than the original Baptist ritual. The Baroquen Consort, a well-known Cushing recorder group, provides the music, and those who have passed from Cushing during the previous year are remembered. This year, the Rev. Waite Maclin will offer the spiritual homily. Donations from the collection plates help to support this charming rural place of worship.

The Old South Cushing Church stands on a small hill surrounded by evergreens. Built on a road connecting Cushing and Friendship, it was completed and dedicated in 1854. At times, it was without a pastor. The church was largely unused after 1918, when only periodic services were held, usually during July and August.

Repeated efforts to repair and maintain the building over the years held it together. In 1997, when the historical society voted to restore the church, a three-year pledge program was initiated; hidden structural damage was uncovered, and a brand new spire rose above the roof. At present, private weddings and literary readings are mainstays of its summer and fall activities. The Annual Harvest Festival of music and readings will be held Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. For more information on the services, call 354-6351. To use the church for another activity or wedding, call 354-2309.