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Federated Church of Sandwich to mark 100 years next month

A century ago this year, two churches in Sandwich, the Sandwich Presbyterian Church and the Upper Somonauk Baptist Church, united to form the Federated Church of Sandwich.
A century ago this year, two churches in Sandwich, the Sandwich Presbyterian Church and the Upper Somonauk Baptist Church, united to form the Federated Church of Sandwich.

The Federated Church of Sandwich will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next month.

To mark the congregation's 100th year, many previous members who have moved from Sandwich will be invited back. The church is also is inviting everyone to come and help celebrate the anniversary.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, June 23, the church will host “Jubilee, A Night of Music” concert. The concert will include both past and present musicians and the Federated Church Chancel Choir.

On Saturday, June 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. there will be an old-fashioned ice cream social. During the event, there will be fun music, games, memorabilia, items for purchase, a local train to enjoy free rides and plenty of ice cream with toppings.

On Sunday, June 25, a church service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Previous pastors have been invited to attend and participate in the service and the choir will also sing. Following the service, a potluck meal will be served. The celebration will conclude with the cutting of an anniversary cake.

A century ago this year, two churches in Sandwich, the Sandwich Presbyterian Church and the Upper Somonauk Baptist Church, united to become the Federated Church of Sandwich.

The Baptist and Presbyterian congregations ministered to their respective needs for many years, filling an important place in the community. In early 1917, a group from the Presbyterian Church met at the home of Frank Richey for a discussion on the possibility of a union with the Somonauk Baptist Church.

It must be surmised that some sort of encouragement or discussion had been held before the meeting of the Baptist and Presbyterian groups. It was not too long before a committee was appointed from the Baptist Church with the first meeting of the two groups being held at the Frank McKindley home.

This meeting resulted in a committee being formed to draw up the Articles of Federation for the proposed uniting of the two churches. This committee performed their tasks well, as has been proven during the past 100 years.

On Sunday morning, May 20, 1917, the Articles of Federation were presented to the congregations of each church for their consideration and approval. The vote in each church was very much in favor of the federation being carried by considerably more than two-thirds majority required. On June 6, the Board of Directors of the new Sandwich Federated Church had their first meeting, at which time the officers of the new church were elected. Then, on June 17, a meeting was called by the new Federated Church after the morning service.

At this meeting, a unanimous call was extended to the Rev. Hal E. Norton, who was the pastor of the Baptist Church, to become the pastor of this new federated congregation. The Rev. Horton gladly accepted the call and ministered to the needs of the new congregation for four years.

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