200th Anniversary Celebration (1823 -2023) of First Presbyterian Church comes to a close
Published 11:24 am Tuesday, September 19, 2023
From First Presbyterian Church
The year-long celebration of the 200th Anniversary of First Presbyterian is coming to its conclusion. The church has celebrated this momentous occasion over the past year with various guest speakers and events. The yearlong celebration kicked off in September 2022 with a covered dish luncheon and was followed by a series of special events each month thereafter. In October 2022, former pastor Dr. Jerry Bron returned to Washington to conduct a Saturday morning seminar and to deliver the Sunday morning worship service. This was followed by a pre-Thanksgiving bake sale featuring period sweets in November, and Victorian Christmas activities led by Historic Bath in December. In addition, the church was adorned with exterior banners announcing 200 years of Worshipping God, Loving Our Neighbors, and Serving Our Community.
In acknowledgement of our Scottish Heritage, the Bicentennial Committee gifted the church with two tartan banners made from the official North Carolina tartan fabric and 6 beautiful, handmade interior banners depicting the life of Christ. Additionally, a 2023 banner was designed to display opposite our 1823 banner.
With the arrival of the year 2023, the celebration continued. Leesa Jones, of the Underground Railroad Museum, was welcomed to the pulpit in February. The Bicentennial Committee hosted a Valentine Candy Sale, as well as a Ladies Tea Party.
The Lenten Season was observed by having the congregation wear the color purple throughout the season and by performing 40 Days of Service. On Easter morning, along with the flowering of the cross, hot cross buns were served to members and guests.
In June, former associate pastor, Dr. Darryl Evans, returned to the pulpit to conduct the morning worship service.
Throughout the yearlong celebration, monthly Wednesday night felllowship dinners included special programming featuring Stephen Farrell, Brown Library; church members Sadie Fowle, Jim Ellis, and Al Weller. The presentations focused on the history of FPC, WWII memorabilia, and the church cemetery. In March, Tryon Palace performed a Civil War living history display on the church grounds. In January, and again in May, local missions’ administrators and their clients were invited to attend the dinners for an evening of “Living the Misison”.
The “Grand Finale” was held August 9 – 13. On August 9, a birthday party was held in the fellowship hall and former pastor, Dr. Robert Morris, returned to conduct a seminar on Saturday, August 12. On August 13, Dr. Morris conducted the time capsule ceremony, and delivered the Sunday morning worship service. Following the service, the congregation moved to the Civic Center for a video presentation by the Bicentennial Committee and a wonderful luncheon of “surf and turf” catered by Keyzers Catering. Over 200 guests were in attendance and 21 meals were delivered to members who can no longer attend in-person services.
On Sunday, October 29, the celebration will officially come to a close when the time capsule is buried for another 25 years.
FPC is grateful to all who have made the events of this past year possible. While it has been a joy to celebrate our past, we look forward to what the future holds for FPC and invite the community to join us for our next chapter.