Lewis Congregational Church set to celebrate 200 years

— Members of the community will get together to celebrate 200 years of local worship.

“This is the oldest congregational church,” Lewis Supervisor David Blades, who has helped to set up the July 28 and 29 celebration, said. “This is a real community affair and we hope that a lot of people will come out to celebrate with us.”

Events start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 28 with music by Gerald Seymour; a car show with winners announced at 3:15 p.m.; children’s games including face painting and a clown; a history table featuring time capsule items, church clerk logs, clippings from the history of the church, church family genealogies and history books; cemetery tours; Civil War activities; a DAR program featuring War of 1812 families; a community garden tour; lunch and a presentation on the history of the church by Margaret Bartley.

On Sunday, July 29, there will be a special worship service at 9:30 a.m. It will be a joint service with the United Church of Christ from Elizabethtown and feature past pastors, music, a bicentennial Bible dedication, children presenting “Building of a Church,” historical information, plaque dedication and a coffee hour.

“We started planning this four years ago,” Blades said. “We met every couple months to begin, but then met more often as it got closer.”

Blades said that there was much work that needed to be done in order to prepare the church and the grounds for the celebration of 200 years, including a new paint job, new roof on the porch, the establishment of a community garden and more.

“There was a lot of work accomplished by a lot of people who stepped up,” he said. “There was a lot of work done by people who are not members of the church, so this really has become a community project and a community church.”

The work was done, according to Blades, to create the perfect environment to hold the celebration.

“We just wanted to create an environment to help explain what the history of our church is,” he said. “We wanted the events to focus on that and we will also have a publication that several people have worked on that will explain the history of the church from its original dedication all the way up to this year.”

For more information on the events and activities that will be part of the Lewis Congregational Church Bicentennial Celebration, visit the website firstcongregationalchurchoflewis.com.

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