NORWICH – The First Baptist Church at 10 W. Park Place in the City of Norwich has long been a staple in the local community, providing residents with traditions rooted in Biblical beliefs in addition to a variety of invaluable community services.
This year, as the City of Norwich celebrates its centennial, the First Baptist Church is honoring a milestone of its own – 200 years as an organization in the heart of the city.
Founded in 1814, the First Baptist Church of Norwich precedes many original founders of the surrounding community. And while the organization has seen a considerable amount of change over the last 200 years, today’s church members say their mission is the one thing that remains the same.
“We chose to make this a year-long celebration as we not only look at all the church has accomplished in the past, but also look forward to the future and the next 200, 300 or 400 years we’re here,” said David Spiegel, Pastor at the First Baptist Church.
To commemorate the 200-year benchmark, church members have established a bicentennial committee to lead a number of celebratory events throughout the year, including a formal celebration on July 26 and 27, and special Sunday services with keynote speakers, many of whom are past leaders of the church, leading up to the event.
“We have accomplished a lot over the last 200 years,” said Bicentennial Committee Co-Chairman Gilbert Harrington, noting the First Baptist Church has been a part of downtown Norwich since James Madison was President. “Just think of all the history this church has seen.”