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NO. R-352.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the Bethany Church-United Church of Christ of Montpelier on its bicentennial anniversary.


     By Senators Doyle, Cummings and Scott,

Whereas, Bethany Church-United Church of Christ has a proud history as the oldest organized religious community in the city of Montpelier, and

Whereas, on April 12, 1808, 83 men gathered to organize a religious society named the First Congregational Society of Montpelier, and, on July 20 of that year, a group of eight men and nine women organized a Church of Christ, and the two organizations together became the First Congregational Church, and

Whereas, the society hired the Reverend Chester Wright as its first minister on an interim basis, and on June 24, 1809, the society and the church jointly offered Reverend Wright a permanent position, and his ministry continued for 21 years as the congregational membership grew from the original 17 to 423, and

Whereas, the congregation first worshiped at the “Old Academy” near the intersection of the present Spring and Main Streets, and from 1810 until 1820 its services took place in the wooden first state house, and

Whereas, in 1820, the First Congregational Church occupied the first home of its own, the Old Brick Church, which was situated on Main Street, and

Whereas, after the second state house was destroyed in the 1857 fire, the general assembly reversed the pattern of four decades earlier and convened in the church’s sanctuary, and

Whereas, in 1867, the congregation demolished the church building and, in October 1868, after worshiping for over a year in a building known as the Village Hall, dedicated a new church edifice at the original site, and

Whereas, during 30 years of the 19th century, the Reverend William Lord ministered to the congregation, and he selected the name Bethany Church for the new church building in recognition of the term Bethany’s Christian theological significance, and

Whereas, in 1918, the First Congregational Society of Montpelier and the Bethany Church united as Bethany Congregational Church of Montpelier, Inc., and

Whereas, in the aftermath of damage sustained due to the great flood of 1927, the members of Bethany Church temporarily worshiped at the neighboring Trinity Methodist Church, and

Whereas, the second Bethany Church was dismantled in 1957, and following nearly two years of worship at the Masonic Temple, the congregation dedicated the new and current Bethany Church on Palm Sunday in March 1959, and

Whereas, having completed post-1992 Montpelier flood restoration work on the building and since 2002 being under the ministerial co-leadership of the Reverends Mark and Amy Pitton, Bethany Church will celebrate its bicentennial anniversary on the weekend of April 12-13, 2008, now therefore be it   

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates Bethany Church-United Church of Christ of Montpelier on its bicentennial anniversary, and be it further

ResolvedThat the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Reverends Mark and Amy Pitton at Bethany Church-United Church of Christ in Montpelier.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont