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Sharmyn Thompson, left, and Ann Newman are longtime members of First Lutheran Church. The church celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.

First Lutheran Church members are excited to be celebrating the congregation's 125th anniversary this year.

The church was founded in August of 1894, and members originally met in the downtown YMCA building.

“When it first formed it had gathered in the YMCA. Then there was a building where the present post office stands before this building was erected,” said Ann Newman, who has been a member of the church for 43 years. “I think it was in 1914 when this building came about.”

The church’s celebration theme is “Passing the Spirit from Age to Age,” and there will be a celebration gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Pony Express Museum.

“The Saturday evening event will be dinner and then we will have a program of history presentation by one of our members, and two of our members will have letters they will be reading to the congregational youth,” said Sharmyn Thompson, director of music at the church. “Then one of the older members of the congregation will be reading from their viewpoints on life at the church.”

St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray also will issue a proclamation at the celebratory event.

“It’s just a lovely gesture from the mayor’s office that we have been here for 125 years and that the city is celebrating with us,” Thompson said.

Thompson, who has been a member of the church for 55 years, said she’s happy to be a part of the congregation at First Lutheran Church.

“This has been a very close congregation, a very caring, loving congregation, and that’s one of the wonderful things in the church,” Thompson said.

Newman said the church has become like family to her.

“When I moved to town, I didn’t have family here in town, so our church became our family and it continues to be that way,” she said. “So it’s just a celebration. As with any family celebration, we are celebrating our achievements in 125 years.”

For more information on First Lutheran Church, visit its website online at flcsj.org. Reservations for the anniversary event can be made by calling the church office at 816-232-8378.

Abby Trapp can be reached

at abby.trapp@newspressnow.com

Follow on Twitter at @NPNowTrapp