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Fayetteville: UCF celebrates its 'Diamond Jubilee'

In 1933, the Presbyterian and American Baptist churches in the town of Manlius officially merged to become the United Church of Fayetteville -- a single congregation tied to both denominations. Now, UCF is celebrating its 75 years of unity through activities spanned over the next 12 months. The first function began Jan. 20 with a slideshow presentation given by church historians Norm Keim and Sue Boland on the history of the churches.

"During WWI [the churches] started worshiping together because of the coal shortage," Boland said. "They liked it so much that they just kept doing it and it wasn't until 1933 that they officially were sanctioned by the court and legalized."

And the story rich with roots spans even further.

"The separate church histories go back 200 years this year," said planning committee member Alice Borning.

Some events designed for the coming months include an 1890's barbershop quartet in February and music of the 60's in March. Historic visitors such as Gershom Breed (first pastor of the Baptist Church) and a young Grover Cleveland will make an occasional appearance as well.

"Our theme is 'Faithfulness Sustains Generations,'" Borning said. "Revisiting the past revitalizes us for the future and will keep us busy and sustain us for the whole year."

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