After more than two years of planning, the parishioners at St. Philip’s, Circleville, have been joyfully celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of their church throughout 2017.
On May 10 and 11, St. Philip’s was a major participant in the Circleville Garden Gala Tour. Throughout the church and parish hall, over 50 watercolor paintings by local artist Betty J. Griffith were on display. Mrs. Griffith was a member of St. Philip’s and a prolific watercolor artist whose works still grace homes and businesses locally and throughout the country. More than 200 persons passed through St. Philip’s for this display.
On May 27, a bicentennial celebratory Holy Eucharist was held, with the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal delivering the sermon. During the service, the church’s new 200th anniversary stained glass window was dedicated; a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Keith Ames created by Carl Renneker of Black Dog Art Glass. Following the service, a catered lunch was served to the 120 in attendance.
On July 30, St. Philip’s and the local newspaper, the Circleville Herald, celebrated their 200th anniversaries together with a public concert at St. Philip’s. The Ohio Christian University Chamber String Orchestra and the Circleville Community Choir presented a program of classical and religious music. Some 150 persons attended the concert and the reception afterward honoring Elizabeth “Lillie” Darst, 1846-1883. Miss Darst was a member of St. Philip’s and was the first female editor of a newspaper in Ohio and also was the first female elected to the position of Engrossing Clerk of the Ohio State Senate. On the day of her funeral, held at St. Philip’s, the flags at the Ohio State Capitol Building in Columbus were lowered to half-mast, the first time a woman was so honored.
And throughout 2017, our church historian Brenda Williams has placed a small note of historical history from St. Philip’s past in every Sunday bulletin, to remind us of the many members and their gifts of talent that have come before us over our first 200 years.
David Williams serves as Senior Warden at St. Philip’s, Circleville.