Syracuse church has history of blazing trail
The New York Landmarks Conservancy is celebrating 25 years of preserving religious properties. This weekend the organization held its annual Sacred Sites Open House. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells one Syracuse church participating in the event has a history of blazing trails that dates back to the 19th century.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's a church that sits downtown near other Syracuse churches. A Gothic style building that is on the National Registry of Historic Structures.
"It makes me glad. I've been here over forty years and I just feel very at home here," Plymouth Congregational Church Board of Deacons Chairperson, Nancy Poquadeck.
Poquadeck feels at home with a congregation that dates back to 1853 and has made its home downtown Syracuse since 1859.
Plymouth Congregational Church not only has a place in Syracuse history because of how long the building has been here, but also because its members have had a long history of being on the forefront of social issues.
"The people who formed Plymouth Church shortly after that took an even bigger step forward. They said slavery is a moral wrong and we will fight it within or without the law," Plymouth Congregation Church Music Director, Joseph Downing.
The men and women involved in the famous Jerry Rescue in Syracuse were from Plymouth Church. The church also blazed trails by ordaining women in the 19th century and more recently by becoming known as the first open and affirming church in Onondaga County.
"They're fully accepting of gay, lesbian, LGBT folk in general," said Downing.
Today the church continues its mission in Syracuse. It's a place of refuge for many immigrants, a source of affordable child care downtown and part of a network of nearby churches that form a food pantry. Continuing to make footprints downtown for years to come.
The Sacred Sites Open House weekend in Syracuse is also in conjunction with the Downtown Living Tour.