Christ Church Lexington’s 175th Anniversary

On Sunday June 9, Christ Episcopal Church Lexington celebrated its 175th anniversary.

Abigail Tempel Three-minute read.   Resources
Christ Church banner for 175th anniversary. Image credit: Tim Ross

Bishop Marty and his wife, Donna, joined members of Christ Church Lexington, the Lexington community, and members of the Central Deanery and other diocesan churches on Pentecost, June 9, 2019 to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the congregation’s establishment by Bishop Jackson Kemper in 1844.

Guests and congregation, Christ Church Lexington – 175th Anniversary. Image credit: Tim Ross

Bishop Marty celebrated Holy Eucharist in a special afternoon service, assisted by Fr. Bill Fasel, Priest in Charge, Fr. Doug Johnson, and Fr. Tom Punzo. Prior to the service, Bagpiper Jim Higgins of Kansas City played outside church entrance for the guests and general public. The clergy then processed from outside into the church led to the altar by the bagpiper, playing the bagpipes in full highland dress including kilt and sporran.

Bagpiper Jim Higgins, Pastor John Swisher, Lexington residents, and Donna Field – 175th Anniversary. Image credit: Tim Ross

Music for the service was provided by Perry Beam, organist, Beverly Roggenkamp, Mike Esser, Raymond Beam and Hank Beam as our choir members, and Patrick Berry and David Bohling, additional musicians.

During the service Lexington Mayor Fred Wiedner presented a proclamation expressing the City of Lexington’s appreciation for the contributions of Christ Church to the life and history of the city over the generations. Senior Warden Beverly Roggenkamp, Bishop Marty and Fr. Bill accepted the proclamation on behalf of Christ Church.

Mayor Fred Wiedner reading the proclamation. Christ Church Lexington – 175th Anniversary. Image credit: Tim Ross

After the service, church members and guests enjoyed refreshments at a catered reception in the Common Room, prepared by Lisa Ethington. Vestments from the nineteenth century, historic documents and photographs and other church memorabilia were on display. Tables were decorated with red ribbons and notecards with interesting “Did you know?” facts about the church, such as the original cost for construction, number of bricks used in the structure, and that the 1871 portable pipe organ is the oldest organ in continuous use in the state of Missouri, to mention just a few. Copies of a recently revised pamphlet containing a history and photographs of the church, its stained-glass windows, and altar vessels and banners, were available for all who attended.

Many of our guests then went on to enjoy a superb concert “Rally ‘Round the Flag” presented by the Lexington Wind Symphony. Bagpiper Jim Higgins joined the symphony, playing additional music appropriate to the concert theme. Christ Church members were especially appreciative of the Wind Symphony graciously changing the time of their concert so that the musicians we share could be available to perform at our 175th Anniversary.

Christ Church Lexington – 175th Anniversary. Image credit: Tim Ross

It was a memorable day for all, with the anticipated rain holding off, insuring a bright, sunny day, full of warm hospitality, catching up with former parishioners and meeting new friends and, hopefully, new congregants.

Abigail Tempel is the parish administrator, office secretary, and clerk of the vestry at Christ Church Lexington.

Gary Allman

Gary Allman is the Director of Communications at The Diocese of West Missouri

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