CELEBRATING 200 YEARS AS THE COMMUNITY MEETING HOUSE
The Fort Miller Church Complex located on the Hudson River (since 1816).
In an age where buildings, photos and messages disappear in an instant, the celebration of a community and church complex that has existed for 200 years is an event not to be missed.
On Saturday and Sunday, October 15 & 16, 2016, the greater Fort Miller community will host a birthday celebration to commemorate the beginnings of what is now considered an "intact example of a 19th century church & community complex." The complex, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, was built on land given to the community by the Bleeker family of Albany. Descendants of the Bleeker family are expected to speak during the celebration.
The weekend of festivities begin on Saturday morning with long time organist and music director, Debbie Anderson opening the celebration. The musical prelude will be played on the hybrid pipe organ located in the church's balcony. The organ was updated for sound amplification and donated by Jim Petit who served as church organist for 50 years before turning the reins over to Mrs. Anderson in the 1990's.
Malcolm Sanders who grew up attending the church sermons and now serves as the main archivist will provide an overview of the buildings uses over the years. It began as a meetinghouse open for all Protestant denominations. In 1822, the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church was formed and remains active to this day. Local historians from the Washington County and Fort Miller Historical Societies will talk about Fort Miller as a community both before 1816 and through the present day.Given the beauty of the church's architecture, Bill Krattinger of the NYS Department Of Historic Preservation will share his knowledge of why the complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Yet perhaps the most important part of the celebration is looking to the future of the church complex's uses and its impact. In an era where many small, tolerant and all accepting church communities of faith struggle to survive and grow their membership, the Fort Miller Reformed Church is unique in its strength and longevity. As it prepares to celebrate 200 years as a community resource for various denominations, groups and families, they invite the greater community of Washington & Warren Counties and beyond to join them as they look to the next 200 years.
The formal presentations will be followed by a tour of the historic artifacts, family friendly activities and a light fare luncheon of fall inspired foods and drinks. Read apple cider, donuts, pumpkin breads and a birthday cake worthy of celebrating 200 years of community.
For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the 10:30 am Sunday services. The church is located on the banks of the Hudson River off Route 4 at 1239 Fort Miller Road just north of Lock 6 and is a welcoming congregation open to all.