By Josh Jones
Times Tribune Editor
TROY — One-hundred-fifty years in the community, 150 years of service in Troy, 150 years of sermons, ministry and memories, for Friedens United Church of Christ in Troy 150 years is just around the corner.
Friedens UCC will kick off its 150th anniversary celebration starting at 10 a.m. (with worship) Jan. 28 at the church.
Sherry Smith, a member of the Friedens UCC 150th Celebration Committee, explained what people can expect from the start of the year-long celebration.
“We are planning a year-long celebration,” Smith said. “Our kickoff is Sunday, Jan. 28. We will present a history in review, a self-guided tour of the church, and a light luncheon. I think everyone is pretty excited at the fact that we have done it (reached 150 years) and we are looking forward to the future and what is coming next.”
Smith said the main focus of the history in review is to high-light the faith, hard work, and determination of the Friedens UCC in Troy congregation and their pastors over the past 150 years.
“On the self-guided tour, stations will be set up throughout the church featuring special areas and artifacts. Historical pictures, Bibles, Communion ware, Church records in English and German will be on display,” Smith said. “A tour of our newly renovated Friendship House as well as our infamous Bell Tower will be available.”
The main mission for this year will be Sleep in Heavenly Peace. This nonprofit hosts several bed building days in local communities to make sure children in need have a place to sleep.
“The congregation also hosts several other missions throughout the year; Got Your Six Support Dogs, Marion Medical Mission, Triad Strong, DuBois Center, Ministries Unlimited, and more,” Smith said.
Friedens UCC Pastor Tim Harrison gave his reaction to the church reaching the century and a half milestone.
“I think it is a testament to the fidelity and faithfulness of the membership. They have been here and a part of this community for so long, they have made quite an influence and impact on the community, continue to do so and look for new ways,” Harrison said. “I am excited they were a part of raising money for Triad Strong in recent times and Sleep in Heavenly Peace. So they are very mission minded too, but they are also a neighborhood church and inviting and welcoming to all kinds of people.”
“We are planning on hosting monthly events throughout the year that tie in with the 150th celebration,” Smith said. “Plans include a Welcome Home event in April, an ice cream social this summer, a church wide picnic in the fall at Tri-Township Park, and a grand finale in December. People are encouraged to follow the church’s Facebook and website for more information.”
The 150th Celebration Committee Consists of Committee Chair Amy Schroeter, Carolyn Klaustermeier, Sandy Harbison and Smith. The committee thanks all the volunteers/community members who are assisting with the celebration.
A RICH HISTORY
According to information provided by Friedens UCC, the church got its start on Dec. 13, 1874. The church’s journey began with a group of interested families having church services in their homes, after some time the group organized and took on the name “Die Evangelische Frie Protestant Gemeinde” which is German for (The Evangelical Free Protestant Congregation).
Current Rev. Pastor Tim Harrison began as a visiting pastor in 2019, then as an interim and then he became the resident pastor in July of 2021. He was officially installed on Sept. 12, 2021. Since beginning, Harrison and the Friedens UCC congregation have welcomed 33 new members, had 19 baptisms and has seen six get confirmed into the church.
For a more complete history of Friedens UCC, you are invited to attend the Anniversary Kick Off on Sunday Jan. 28 or visit the “Our Story” section at friedensucc-troy.org. Additional information may also be found on the website or at the “Friedens UCC Troy IL” Facebook page.
Friedens UCC wants the community to know “Whoever you are or wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”