Attendants joined the celebration for a re-enactment of the group’s first worship service, which took place on Oct. 17, 1912, at Station Square in Forest Hills.
The service included old-fashioned music with a bit of history from the first worship, which was originally held in a borrowed storefront. And to make the memory stand out, guests were encouraged to sport early 20th century style—feather hats, white gloves and all.
Forest Hills resident Lynn Durante said she’d been attending the church since 1955 with her family. Durante, who used to sing as a member of the church’s choir, said she was happy with the organization’s evolution throughout the years.
“I saw many changes since I joined this church, but they’ve all been wonderful and different,” she said.
“We’re out here trying to keep the spirit alive,” said chair of the Centennial Committee and chair of the Church Council Jack Quinn, stressing that though the Church-in-the-Gardens was a small organization comprised of approximately 200 members, the event was open to the public to encourage others to join in the celebration.
Quinn, who was in charge of planning the event, said it had been in the works since March, 2002.
Closing the ceremony with a catered reception to follow, Rev. Vanek and Rev. David Rowe, a former pastor, asked what the next century might bring for those involved in the congregation.
Of course, no one would know, but one thing was certain: “I’m looking forward to the next 100 years,” said Vanek.