On Saturday, October 6, 2018, Dr. Torrey Robinson and his congregation of the First Baptist Church of Tarrytown celebrated their 175th Anniversary (located at 56 S. Broadway). An invitation to their celebration went out to other faith organizations in the local community. Dr. Kone, Helen Alexander, and a few other of our members attended the celebration. Helen has written some reflection on their visit below.
Interesting to note from their history gallery that Rev. Torrey Robinson had joined the First Baptist Church of Tarrytown in 1997, which is 21 years ago, when we were well into the 3rd year of True Family Values Ministry. I remembered they had a fire in the 80s, but didn’t realize the extent of it until seeing photos and articles displayed this time. Therefore their rebuilding was not only impressive but significant.
After the celebration, with two of us remaining and introducing ourselves as neighboring Unificationists, one of their remaining members shared at length about his Judeo-Christian understanding. He claimed he had actually died, but was medically revived. He was Jewish, but converted to Christianity initially through an organization of Christian Jews in Brooklyn called Chosen Peoples Ministry. As a Unificationist, I was impressed and moved by what he understood. I couldn’t say no to his earnest invitation to have us attend Sunday Service the next day. Again, I was moved by the sermon given by the speaker who was pastor at the time of the church fire. It was also communion Sunday.
Upon reflection, while many Christian churches were hardly allies in the 70s, when still indemnifying the failed course of not accepting True Father, I believe that today they are definitely being guided and raised up by God, Jesus and heaven, and especially True Father in his central role. The best of Christians, who loved so much Jesus in his axial role, are prepared to be in partnership with the providential work of God and True Parents together with us.
Those of our own members who lived in the Tarrytown area in the 80’s or 90’s may recall the devastating fire the First Baptist Church suffered back on Christmas Eve, 1989. Dr. Robinson joined the church a few years after that but helped to see them through a difficult and long reconstruction. His reflections on fire can be read in their church newsletter from 2008 [here]