Centerpoint Church to celebrate 200 years in Concord with block party

Concord's First Baptist Church -- now Centerpoint Church -- in 1825. Courtesy of Fabio Paiva
Concord's First Baptist Church -- now Centerpoint Church -- in 1825. Courtesy of Fabio Paiva

Ever since Concord celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2015, it seems like there’s always some group or institution that has a big milestone celebration every time you turn around. This weekend, it’s Centerpoint Church’s turn – the downtown staple will turn 200 this weekend, and everyone’s invited to the party.

Centerpoint Church is the one right across from the YMCA on North State Street. It’s been around since 1818, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere any time soon.

“It’s a church that’s really part of the history of our city,” said Fabio Paiva, a member of the church. “We reached out to the city and said what we’d like to do is, it’s kind of a celebration involving the community. First Baptist Church was always in downtown Concord. We decided to throw a party, shut down the street and invite the community to join us.”

The celebration is actually a multiday affair. The bulk of the revelry will take place Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m. That part of North State Street will be closed during those hours, and the party will spill into the street.

On Sunday, the church will hold three services – at 9 and 10:15 a.m. as well as at 6 p.m. They will also have all of the previous pastors who are still alive come back and be part of the celebration.

Monday is the actual anniversary date – Oct. 8. – though there are no celebratory events planned. After all, it’s pretty hard to get the city to let you shut down one of the main streets in the downtown area, and the church is happy to have secured the block they did for Saturday.

At the celebration, there will be all kinds of fun activities for the whole family, including an obstacle course, climbing wall, bounce house, face painting and more. And, like any good party, there will also be food (hamburgers and hot dogs), drinks and ice cream – all free of charge. Yes, all the food will be free, which should really be all you need to know.

If you’re a history lover and would like to learn more about the church during the celebration, you’re in luck, because the sanctuary will be open for people to go in and check out a display of portraits of every pastor who has ever served at the church. You can also check out the pulpit from 1875, on loan from the New Hampshire Historical Society. Other historic church artifacts will be on display as well, for anyone who’s curious.

Some of the historical artifacts will be making their return to the church after an extended stay across the street. The church has donated various artifacts to the Historical Society over the years, and for the sake of this bicentennial party, they’ve borrowed some of those artifacts to have them back where they came from for all to see, at least for a weekend.

Mostly, though, this block party is just for people to come together and have some fun.

“We would like to invite the community to join us on this historical event, not just in the life of the Centerpoint Church, but also a milestone in the life of our city,” Paiva said.

The celebration is free with no sign-up required.

Author: Jon Bodell

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  1. Not to be “that guy”, but looks like that photo might be a bit more recent than 1825. Witness the sign for the telephone booth. First photograph is alleged to have been taken in 1826 or 1827.

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    • Interesting observation. I don’t notice the telephone booth sign, but I did find the claim that the first known photograph was taken in either 1826 or 1827 — this is just the photo the church sent, with that hand-written date at the bottom as the only thing to go by.

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