Anniversaries Task Force

In 1765, the Proprietors of West Hoosac called Whitman Welch, a Yale graduate, for “work in the ministry of this town.”  Calling a minister was one of the conditions which had to be met in order for the citizens to incorporate their town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Thus the history of First Church, and that of Williamstown are inextricably linked.

The Anniversaries Task Force has already begun the plan the scope of our celebration of 250 years as a church.  Starting, in 2014, with the one hundredth anniversary of the current building, which has become an local icon in this community, through the year 2015, which marks 250 years since Whitman Welch came to town and was installed as our first pastor.

We are thinking of having many events scattered over around 15 months from the Fall of 2014 to the early winter of 2015.  We would start by celebrating the 100th anniversary of the current church building in the Fall of 2014.  From January to March of 2015 we would have talks focusing on the relationship between Williams College, who celebrated their commencement in our sanctuary from their beginning until 1912, and the Church.  These would culminate in our annual William Sloan Coffin Prize in Passionate Public Speaking, in March.  In the Summer of 2015 we would like to have some kind of show reenacting the arrival of Whitman Welch, our first Pastor, to Williamstown.  The Fall of 2015 will feature Music in the Church, perhaps with lectures as well as concerts.  The final celebration will be in late October or November to mark the 250 anniversary of the installation of Rev. Welch.

Do you have any ideas for the Anniversaries Task Force to explore?  Would you like to help plan an event?  Do you have expertise which might be helpful in publishing, or writing press releases?  Come and talk to us anytime you would like about what we are planning.  The members of the Anniversaries Task Force are: Moira Jones, chair, Marilyn Faulkner, Henry Flynt, Sam Humes, Jan Keep, Doris McNabb, Kay Sherman, Phil Smith, Jean Vankin, and Larry Wright.