By Nathan Mayberg
WURTSBORO September 20, 2005 Dozens of members of the Community Church of Wurtsboro celebrated its 200th anniversary Sunday.
The church held a special Sunday service and invited former pastors, a guest speaker, and several musical performers.
According to the churchs historical records, the Dutch Reformed Congregation of Mamakating was formed on August 5, 1805.
But there was no specific event scheduled for this August to commemorate it. Instead, the church arranged a series of special events.
The site of the church has changed over the years. In 1849, the congregation changed its name to the Reformed Dutch Church of Mamakating. Between 1947-1952, the congregation shared services with the Methodist Church of Wurtsboro. There was a lapse after that, which ended officially in 1987 when they merged into the Community Church of Wurtsboro.
According to at least one speaker, the congregation is vibrant and successful. The Reverend James Anderson, who led the Reformed Dutch Church of Mamakating between 1971 and 1974 and who is in his nineties, was in attendance and received special recognition. His wife also played a piano piece to warm appreciation by the audience.
There were a number of other impressive musical performances, accompanied by the skillful piano playing of Kathy Vollano, Minister of Music.
But most of the service was religious in nature, with talk about miracles, sin, and God. One of the visiting ministers praised the group for their past charity work and goodwill. In general, the preaching was light, and the congregation enjoyed a barbecue afterwards, overseen by Pastor Robert Schwander.
Much has changed in the past two centuries for this church. But 200 years later, one thing is for sure the congregation knows its hymns. The songs were plentiful, loud and right on key.