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updated: 8/26/2011 3:53 PM

Batavia church to celebrate past with riverside service

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  • The congregation at Batavia United Methodist Church, 8 N. Batavia Ave., is having a camp meeting service Sunday one block away, at the Riverwalk, to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

       The congregation at Batavia United Methodist Church, 8 N. Batavia Ave., is having a camp meeting service Sunday one block away, at the Riverwalk, to celebrate its 175th anniversary.
    RICK WEST | Staff Photographer, 2009

 
 

Batavia United Methodist Church will continue celebrating the congregation's 175th anniversary Sunday by doing worship the way settlers did way back when.

It's having a camp meeting down by the riverside. And then, a potluck lunch.

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The community is invited to the service, which is at 10 a.m. at the Riverwalk, Island Avenue and Houston Street. Look for the big tent.

"We're trying to kind of do it in the spirit of a tent revival," said Dan Van Haften, a church member who researched music for the event. "If you go way back, a lot of churchs had revival-type meetings."

The congregation met in people's houses until 1852, when it built its first sanctuary. The present church building at 8 N. Batavia Ave. was built in 1888. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The congregation also has a mission church, Flowing Grace, that meets at a school in North Aurora.

Van Haften sees value for the future in studying the church's past.

"We're here today ... because of the people that came before us. We have to realize that the things we do are for the people who come after us," he said.

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