152 years of tradition, worship, and prayer all moving to a different location. That’s been the challenge for Manhattan’s First Christian Church as they open the doors to their new location.
A move from downtown at 5th at Humbolt, to a $5 million building overlooking the west end of Manhattan.
The church had to work around keeping their character and history of more than a century while also adapting to a changing world.
“We’ve been able to keep a little bit of elements with us,” Pastor Ben Hitzfeld said. “We’ve got the communion table from the church, I’m not sure how old it is, probably the second ever table.”
There’s also a painting that goes back to the 1940s from a man in the congregation who went to the holy land who wanted to re-create the scene of the Jordan River.
“That’s always been behind the baptistry at our old church, so that came with us, and in fact, in the old church it was always covered up, and here it’s always uncovered and it’s beautiful,” Hitzfel said.
He also said while they were moving buildings, they wanted to make it a priority to honor those who came before.
“You want to have something that brings you back to what we’ve appreciated about the old building. We brought our organ with us, a dime that was found in the piano. And while things are changing, we’re going to keep the most valuable traditions that we have, worship or in the way we love one another.”
The church welcomes anyone to attend the services on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. They’re also looking to hire staff for their daycare and volunteers at their services.
Click here to learn how to get involved.