Peace church celebrates two milestones in 2016

Staff Report

Peace Community Church is celebrating two anniversaries this year: The congregation was founded 150 years ago as the First Baptist Church of Oberlin on July 30, 1866, and the cornerstone for the current building was laid Jan. 1, 1916.

The congregation, which changed its name in 2000, is planning a variety of events and celebrations throughout the year to mark both anniversaries.

Ian Tomesch, a 2010 graduate of Oberlin College, will perform an anniversary organ concert on the David and Sigrid Boe organ at the Church at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29.

Tomesch is now a doctoral student at Yale University, where he holds a degree from The School of Sacred Music. He is the organist for The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J.

The Bach-Silbermann organ is owned by the Oberlin College Conservatory and has been housed at Peace Community Church since 2011. It was built originally for the Staller Center for the Arts, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, by George Bozeman Jr. and David Gibson. It is a modern evocation of the existing organ built by Gottfried Silbermann in 1741, at Grosshartmannsdorf, Saxony.

“There is much to celebrate in the life of a church that has existed for 150 years. This wonderful partnership with the Oberlin College Conservatory is something from our more recent history that we will be acknowledging at the concert,” said the Rev. Steve Hammond, who since 1979 has co-pastored the church with his wife, the Rev. Mary Hammond.

The congregation has already started to celebrate this year’s anniversaries with some Sunday morning activities. The concert will be its first public celebration.

The concert is free, but there will be an offering received to benefit the Anniversary Fund, which will be designated for building needs.

Peace Community Church is located at 44 East Lorain St. in Oberlin. Parking and handicapped access are at the rear of the building.

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Staff Report