Church members celebrate 100 years of historic sanctuary

Church members celebrate 100 years of historic sanctuary
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 10:11 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Sunday afternoon, Berea’s Union Church celebrated 100 years of its John G. Fee Memorial Building.

Pamela Chabora, who attended Berea College and Union Church in the 1970s, is just one of many who have called Union Church home.

“The love and the deep connection I feel to Berea, to Berea college and to Union church goes to my cells, out,” Chabora said.

While the church was originally founded in 1853, the current sanctuary was not constructed until 1922.

“A building is nothing more than a collection of a place where people can gather, but it nevertheless functions in an important way,” said Rev. Kent Gilbert. “Without the shelter of this space, so many initiatives that have made our lives better would not be possible.”

The celebration was not just about the physical structure of Union Church; it was about the values and traditions that members say make Union Church a unique place to worship and gather.

“This is a place where we try to recognize that all of God’s children, and that means all, without exception, have all the rights and all the responsibilities, all the hopes and all the desserts of just and loving treatment,” said Rev. Gilbert. “To stop, to pause, to wait, to breathe and to remember gives us both inspiration and instigation to move ahead,” said Rev. Gilbert.

For a church that Rev. Gilbert said is open to people of all backgrounds, the day served as a time for reflection and a continuation of the church’s values as the community begins another century of remembering old members, greeting new ones and welcoming back those who return.

“From all of the different places I went to, I’ve finally come home, to be back here at Union Church and Berea, where I always felt that this was my true home,” said Chabora.