The Gaines United Methodist Church is preparing for its sesquicentennial celebration.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, starting at 1 p.m., they’ll be turning back the clock to celebrate, 1869 style, with old-fashioned games from the period, horse drawn wagon rides, an antique quilt show, and more. On Sunday, Oct. 6, the worship service will be a reenactment of what it would have been like 150 years ago.
“We hope everyone can come out and experience a little bit of what life was like 150 years ago,” said Harriet Markley-Weeks, long-time church member. “It’s going to be a great event for all ages.”
“For some of us, this sesquicentennial is a celebration of our own history,” Markley-Weeks said, as some of the church members have ancestral roots that go back to the beginning. “This has been my church since the day I was born. It’s home. A little gem tucked away in the corner of Genesee County and it’s got a big wide-open door.
“When you consider that in 1869, the year Gaines UMC opened its doors, the first transcontinental railroad was completed and the Emancipation Proclamation was made freeing all Confederate slaves, you can see how much this country has changed in 150 years. But for Gaines UMC, the strong focus to serve its community hasn’t changed much.”
“We’re right in there, getting our hands dirty to help those who need it. We aren’t a big congregation, but we are mighty,” Gaines UMC Pastor Barb Benjamin said.
The church hosts a free community dinner once a month, brings meals to those in need, works with the local school to provide school supplies and after school activities and serves the community through a variety of cleanup and building projects. “We’re looking forward to the next 150 years and how we’ll continue to help our community,” Benjamin said.
A complete list of sesquicentennial celebration activities can be found at gainesumc.org. For more information, contact the church at (989) 271-9131.
Gaines United Methodist Church 150th anniversary schedule of events:
Saturday, Oct. 5
1 p.m. — Old-fashioned lawn games, antique quilt show, horse-drawn wagon rides, village history tour, old-fashioned sweet treats and goodies
4 p.m. — Cornerstone dedication
5 p.m. — Community potluck
6:30 p.m. — Gospel concert
10:45 a.m. — Pastor’s arrival in horse-drawn carriage
11:15 a.m. — 1869-style worship service
All events are free and open to the public.