Radnor Congregational United Church of Christ is set to celebrate its 200th anniversary during a special service planned for Sunday, Oct. 3.
Sunday’s celebration will include a run through the history of the church, including historical articles gathered from years past, as well as worship and prayer. A small display highlighting the church through the years will also be on display at the church, as well as at the local museum in Radnor. Members of the church will be invited to talk about their experiences in the church. Following the service, a light lunch will be served.
Located at 4407 state Route 203, the current building where the church congregates was built in 1864. Margaret Sparks, who has been a member of the church since 1961, has collected much of the historical information that will be used as part of Sunday’s celebration.
Sparks said of the church, “It’s been our foundation. It’s been our backbone. We’ve gone through many ministers and survived them all.”
Pastor Dan Bill, a graduate of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, has led the Radnor Congregational United Church of Christ since 2014 but was a member of the church long before becoming a pastor. “There’s been a lot of good people who have been part of this church,” Bill said.
According to Bill, there are around 25 regular attendees at the church, a declining figure he said is being seen across all churches today. Citing some of the many articles gathered for the celebration, Bill said the church had a membership of 320 people in 1920 and 212 people in 1975.
While many people have come and gone through the years, Bill said the church remains open and inviting to any and all people.
“I can tell you personally, over the years, this church has been very friendly,” he said. “It has been very supportive of people in general. I know that back in the 90s, I attended with my kids and it was the same way then … This church is open to all people. It doesn’t make any difference whether they’re a person of color, whether they are gay or straight, old or young.”
Sunday’s service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and is opened to everyone in the community.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.