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White Plains Presbyterian Church Marks 300 Years, Looks Forward

White Plains Presbyterian Church will celebrate its 300th anniversary on Sunday, May 18.
White Plains Presbyterian Church will celebrate its 300th anniversary on Sunday, May 18. Photo Credit: White Plains Presbyterian Church

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The White Plains Presbyterian Church will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding in 1714 with a 10 a.m. service of worship followed by the ground-breaking of its new community garden, Groundswell, and a reception on Sunday, May 18.

“In this time of dramatic climate change, persistent poverty, and global connection, Founding Day cannot, must not be only about the past,” Senior Pastor Jeffrey A. Geary said in a statement. “Remembrance prompts us to pledge ourselves to our community and to future generations thirty and three hundred years out, that starting right now we will live responsibly on God’s earth, that we will dedicate our lives to correcting those natural, corporate and human systems that have placed our planet and its people in such precarity, and that we will raise the youngest generation of Christians to do likewise.”

The worship will feature a sermon by Rev. Geary, “Founding the Church and Founding the Future,” special music from the choir and musicians, and include presentations by elected officials from the city, county, state and federal government.

The worship will highlight how the church seeks the common good in partnership with local organizations such as My Sister’s Place, the White Plains Youth Bureau, Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Lineage Farm, and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women.

The church traces its founding to a gift of property from John Frost of Rye to the Rev. Christopher Bridges of White Plains, which is one of the earliest documents indicating that people were living in White Plains according to Rob Hoch, President of the White Plains Historical Society.

Within the church’s cemetery visitors will find the gravestones of Jacob and Abigail Purdy, who gave their home to George Washington to use as his White Plains headquarters during the revolutionary War as well as the graves of many revolutionary soldiers.

White Plains Presbyterian Church was also where Daniel D. Tompkins, the sixth Vice President of the United States grew up and where his family is buried. Mr. Tompkins served under President James Monroe and prior to that was the Governor of New York. While he was governor, Tompkins set the date when slaves in New York State should be freed.

White Plains Presbyterian Church is located at 39 North Broadway.

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