Federated Church celebrates 375th anniversary

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The Federated Church in Edgartown celebrates its 375th anniversary this year. —Ralph Stewart

This year marks the 375th anniversary of the Federated Church, a union of the First Congregational Church of Martha’s Vineyard and the Baptist Church of Edgartown. To honor this occasion, there will be a special presentation of “For All the Saints,” a historical pageant by local historian and dramatist E. St. John Villard. It presents the history of faith on the Island through the words and lives of Islanders from 1642 to 1945, with much of the period music sung by the Federated Church choir under the direction of Peter R. Boak, minister of music for the Federated Church.

This program will take place on Monday evening, July 17, beginning at 7 pm, at the Federated Church Meetinghouse, located at 45 South Summer St., Edgartown. This is a free event. There will be a freewill offering to support a local nonprofit organization.

According to a press release, “For All the Saints” is a compilation of an interesting assortment of Islanders from our past who provide insight into what life was like on the Vineyard at different times in our history. Some of these Islanders are Thomas Mayhew Sr. and Jr., Peter Folger, members of the Vincent family, the Rev. Joseph Thaxter, Cornelians Marchant, Susan Colt Norton, Captain Francis Fisher, and Captain Robert Martin and his wife Susan Brown Martin.

Some of the events covered are Gray’s raid during the Revolutionary War, the establishment of the Baptist Church, views of the whaling industry, and the Civil War.

Parts are performed by church members, as well as members of the Island community including Katrina Nevin, Martha Hudson, David Pritchard, Kevin Ryan, John Ortman, and Becky Williams.

This presentation will be given again on Monday, August 7, at 7 pm. For more information call 508-627-4421, email admin@federatedchurchmv.org, or visit federatedchurchmv.org.