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2018-06-13 / News

Sidney Center Baptist Church Celebrates 190 Years

By Sara Andros


Pastor and Mrs. Dennis and Lois Murray pose in period dress in front of the Sidney Center Baptist Church. The community will celebrate its 190th anniversary on Sunday, June 17. 
Contributed Photo Pastor and Mrs. Dennis and Lois Murray pose in period dress in front of the Sidney Center Baptist Church. The community will celebrate its 190th anniversary on Sunday, June 17. Contributed Photo The Sidney Center Baptist Church was founded June 14, 1828 when John Quincy Adams was president, and is thought to be the oldest continuous organization in Sidney Center, said Pastor Dennis Murray. On Sunday, June 17, the church will celebrate its 190th anniversary.

Everyone is invited to the anniversary celebration. “The celebration is not just for our church, it’s for the community,” said Murray.

From 1828 until the church building was completed in 1850, church members met at the local school and in people’s homes. The original church building is still in use and now serves as the sanctuary. The old tin ceilings and original pews are pieces of history still enjoyed by those who attend services at the church. A unique feature of the church are pocket doors that slide down into the floor rather than into the walls.

On Sunday, additional historic elements will be added to the celebration. The Maywood Historical Group has supplied photos from the 1800s that will be projected onto a screen for everyone to enjoy. Old collection boxes will be used instead of the usual collection plates. The wooden boxes are on three-foot poles and were designed to accommodate coins rather than paper money and checks. Murray theorizes that once paper money became more popular, the church moved to collection plates since the boxes were only four inches in height and depth.

Murray also plans to use an 1828 Bible during the service.

The anniversary celebration will include the dedication of new hymnals titled “The Celebration Hymnals”. The hymn book is a mix of old hymns and new choruses, but Murray said that they plan to sing hymns that would have been popular 190 years ago for the special event. Historic church memorabilia including a communion set purchased in 1888, a membership book from the 1800’s to 1920’s and church records from 1851 on, will be displayed in the church library.

Everyone is encouraged to dress in period attire, but it isn’t mandatory. After the worship service, there will be a fellowship dinner and a special cake that will not only commemorate the anniversary, but Father’s Day and other anniversaries and birthdays in the congregation.

It is hoped that the celebration will be a time to bring the community together to reminisce about the past and make new memories.

There will be a Bible study at 9:30 a.m. and the worship service will be at 10:30 on Sunday, June 17.

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