First Baptist Church of Rome plans a chicken and biscuit dinner, tours and an organ recital May 18 as part of New York State Sacred Sites open houses and to celebrate a grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy toward renovating the church’s bell tower. Tours begin at 4 p.m. and continue through 7 p.m. The dinner is 4:30-7 p.m., and the recital at 7:30 p.m. Performing are former First Baptist organists Ken Loiscono, Bruce Smith and C.J. Broughton.
First Baptist is among only three sites in Oneida County participating in the weekend of open houses at places of faith across New York. On Sunday, May 19, former First Baptist pastor the Rev. William Carlson will lead the service at 10 a.m. After the service is a coffee-hour reception and tours until 2 p.m.
The weekend events are in part a celebration of a $25,000 grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy. The church is also thanking other organizations and individuals to help remove the coverings on the bell tower in the renovation, which is in its first year of a six-year process.
“First Baptist has been a longtime institution in the neighborhood and will continue to grow and be a more viable presence and asset to the community in which it serves,” said interim Pastor Letta Palmer.