Historic congregations honored in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- Representatives of 29 churches and synagogues around Illinois gathered at Westminster Presbyterian Church Saturday to mark more than 150 years of fellowship.

The gathering, which included an organ recital, presentation of recognition for parishes and a luncheon, marked the Illinois State Historical Society’s annual recognition of Sesquicentennial congregation celebration, which honors congregations 150 years old or older.

“These churches bring with them all the history, and a lot of it’s oral history, but a lot of it’s community history: burials, baptisms, weddings, all the things you associate with a community,” explained Executive Director William Furry. “Some of these communities started from nothing and grew to great congregations, and some of them started small and are still small.”

Several of the congregations celebrated are in Central Illinois, including Ashmore United Methodist Church, 1842, Homer United Methodist Church, 1839, Temple Brith Shalom in Springfield, 1867, First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, 1867, First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, 1857, and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Decatur.

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