Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church: 200 years and still giving

— Photo from Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church

The sanctuary at Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church will be the setting for town historian Mary Ellen Johnson to talk about the church’s 200-year history on Sunday.

GUILDERLAND — Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church is celebrating its bicentennial this Sunday with worship, a luncheon, and a look back at its long history.

The public is invited to join the celebration.

The anniversary worship service starts at 11 a.m. in the church at 2291 Western Ave. followed by a luncheon in Fellowship Hall at 12:15 p.m. The Buena Comida taco truck will also be out in the church’s parking lot.

Guilderland’s town historian, Mary Ellen Johnson, will speak in the sanctuary at 1 p.m. on the church’s history.

“The history of Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church parallels the history of the Town of Guilderland, in which we are located,” says a church history. “In 1797, there was an active congregation and a church building on our site, and an octagon-shaped building served as a church school … We believe the ‘Union’ in ‘Hamilton Union’ came from the fact that the church was interdenominational in its early years.”

The hamlet was named Hamilton in 1796, in honor of Alexander Hamilton, and by 1813 had 56 houses, stores, and three glass factories, the church history says.

The current Eastlake Stick Style church was built in 1886, according to the National Register of Historic Places.

The church launched its bicentennial celebration in February with a food drive for the Guilderland Food Pantry. Dubbed “200 for our 200th,” the goal is to collect 200 of each of the pantry’s 10 most-needed items.

“Hamilton Union Church has been part of the Guilderland community for over 200 years, which is pretty amazing,” said Pastor Kyle Delhagen in the church’s bicentennial announcement. “And in this, our 200th year, our community has really come through.

Our ‘200 for our 200th’ food collection for the Guilderland Food Pantry is at 83 percent of its goal, and the support of the community has been huge in getting here. We are very thankful for this community support, and we hope the community will join us to celebrate our bicentennial this Sunday, May 19.”

The food drive officially goes through May 26, but donations are welcome anytime. Some of the needed items are used in what is called the backpack program where kids in the Guilderland schools are sent home with food in a backpack to carry them through the weekends.

The 10 most-needed items are: vegetable oil, regular coffee, juice, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, single-serving cereal (used in the backpack program and the goal has been reached), microwave ravioli (backpack program), microwave mac and cheese (backpack program — goal reached!), tuna/chicken in a pouch (backpack program — goal reached!) and any canned fruit.

Donations may be dropped off at the church or placed in the brown bin outside the education building next to the church.

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