Friday, January 25, 2013

First Presbyterian of Albany celebrates 250th birthday

From the Times Union:

As it celebrates its 250th anniversary, First Presbyterian Church is notable for many things beyond its longevity.

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton worshiped there. Large Tiffany stained-glass windows grace the church. Members sometimes meet for services in Washington Park...

First Presbyterian's brownstone Romanesque landmark at State and Willett streets, its fourth location, dates from 1883...

Earlier this month, a refurbished diorama with models of the four churches in a display case was unveiled at a Sunday service as parishioners sang "Happy Birthday" and shared cake. All three previous churches have been torn down.

The anniversary events kick off on Sunday at the Albany Institute of History & Art with a lecture by former assemblyman and historian Jack McEneny. Church officials recently donated to the Institute a 1790 church penny. The church forged 1,000 of the coppers and each member was given four to be used as "communion tokens" in a long-held Scottish tradition. The penny predated the start of the U.S. Mint by two years. A similar penny sold for $115,000 at auction in 2012.

[The diorama will also be on display at the Institute.]

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