Downtown church celebrates 150 years of memories with fellowship, free concert

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Rochester's First United Methodist Church at 34 South Main St. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - Rochester's First United Methodist Church is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its main building with a special Reunion Weekend later this month.

One of the highlights comes on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. when the choristers of the Temple Church Choir of London will give a free concert.

The choir is under the direction of Roger Sayer, organist and director of music at the Temple Church since 2013. Under Sayer's direction the choir has performed live on BBC 3 Radio, taken several tours and released several CDs.

Prior to the Temple Church, Sayer was the organist and master of the choristers at Rochester Cathedral from 1994-2008. It was in this role that he became known to the First United community in being asked to give the dedicatory recital on the then new Faucher Organ Co. Pipe organ in April of 1999.

A second free concert will be held at the church on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., that one performed by the First United choir accompanied by Music Director Kevin Lindsay on the Faucher Organ and Steinway Piano. Also included in the program will be the well-known local praise group GRASP and the Ray Witherell Bell Ringers.

The weekend culminates on Oct. 28 with a special service to be held in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. with current and former pastors participating. Following the service, a time capsule will be buried in the basement to be opened on the 200th anniversary of the building in 2068.

Church officials are inviting everyone to share in any or all of the weekend's activities.

First United Methodist Church is located at 34 S. Main St. in Rochester.

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