Evangelical Congregational Church

April 7, 2018 GMT

TYNGSBORO -- On Sunday, parishioners of the Evangelical Congregational Church of Tyngsboro and invited guests will gather to celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary. The service set to begin at 10 a.m. will be held not at the church at 23 Kendall Road, but at Old Town Hall.

The historic building at 10 Kendall Road is where, on April 7, 1868, the church was organized with a membership of 23, according to Joan Politi, chair of the 150th Anniversary Committee.

“The church had its first meeting at the Old Town Hall in April 1868. We came up with the idea of having our actual church service in the Old Town Hall, just like they did,” Politi, of Tyngsboro, said of the parishioners who came way before her and other current members. “I’m feeling a sense of pride over the fact that our church has faithfully remained in service for over 150 years.”

The service Sunday at Old Town Hall will be followed by a catered meal for guests.

“For us it’s about serving Tyngsboro and the Tyngsboro region in a variety of ways,” said the Rev. Denis Frediani, who has been the church’s pastor for 16 years.

Frediani said Girl and Boy Scouts, as well as an Alcoholics Anonymous group, utilize the church building at no cost and that the church gives out modest scholarships to graduating high school students who have chosen to enter a public service field.

Then there’s the church’s thrift store which is open twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

“That’s also a service to the community,” the pastor said, adding that the generous donations from community members have helped to keep the shop’s prices low.

Frediani said he felt very good about the church’s upcoming anniversary, adding that the Evangelical Congregational Church of Tyngsboro is the longest, continuous running or serving church in town. “Salvation is a gift through Jesus,” he said. “They (other churches) did not sustain that.” The pastor added that he and the church’s parishioners are honored that their house of worship has lasted this long.

On Thursday afternoon, parishioner Charlotte Tyson gathered items from tables outside the church’s thrift store to bring them back in before closing. Her husband, James “Bud” Williams, helped.

“I’m delighted with it,” Tyson, 73, said of her church’s upcoming anniversary. “My great-grandmother played the organ here. We’ve been connected with this church forever.”

According to Politi, Sunday’s service at Old Town Hall begins a year of events that celebrate the church’s anniversary. She said parishioners will be participating in the town’s Memorial Day Parade on May 28 and in October will host an afternoon concert featuring The Needhams, a Christian music group. Information on how to obtain tickets to the concert will be forthcoming, according to Politi.

“If I had to put it into words, I’m proud to work with my fellow church members on such an important project. When we looked at ways to celebrate, we tried to think what the most important message is,” Politi said. “The most important message, to us, is that our church is still here today after 150 years. There were people who came way before us to promote and proclaim the message of Christ, and here we are carrying on that message.”

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.