Civil War-era touches mark Beloit church's 175th year | Community Spirit
A local church celebrated its 175th anniversary with a parade through downtown Beloit, music and actors portraying historical figures.
First Congregational Church began its celebration Friday at the church with Civil War-era music and actors impersonating Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass.
Saturday a parade began at West Grand Avenue, which included a horse-drawn carriage carrying actors dressed as Lincoln and his wife. The parade ended in Horace White Park, where the man acting as Lincoln recited "The Gettysburg Address" and attendees enjoyed music and other speakers, according to a release.
Organizers said all community members were welcome to participate.
The church said President Lincoln visited Beloit in July 1832 when he was a captain in the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War. He returned in October 1859 and addressed citizens about freedom and issues with slavery.
The church will hold a special worship service Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to finish its weekend of celebrations.
The original building constructed in 1838 stood for nearly 160 years before it burned down due to a lightning strike. It was rebuilt in 2001.