The American Baptist Historical Society awarded the George D. Younger Award for Excellence in Local or Regional American Baptist History to the West Henrietta Baptist Church (West Henrietta, NY). Along with a certificate honoring the church, a check for $100 was presented at the July 2 ABHS Breakfast at the Biennial Mission Summit in Portland, OR. West Henrietta Baptist Church has been added to a plaque honoring awardees that hangs in the Historical Society Reading Room.
Chosen from about a dozen entries, West Henrietta demonstrated how they met the criteria, especially in their outreach beyond their congregation. Their year-long celebration of their history resulted in several outcomes which have strengthened the church:
Compiled a book with information on members of a historical Sunday School class that was subsequently featured on NYHeritage.com and is available in local libraries.
Established a closer relationship with other community churches inviting Choirs to join together for Easter music.
Built new relationships with former longtime members contacting former members and their families.
Positioned the church to participate fully in the town’s 2018 bicentennial developing a working relationship with the town historian, learning their own history and creating a permanent History Room in the church.
Became a resource for the town Historical Society.
Improved the church’s social media presence, including an updated website and new Facebook page.
Prepared to participate knowledgeably in New York Landmarks Conservancy’s open house “Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next” by researching the background on their stained glass windows.