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Church of the Advent Celebrating Golden Anniversary

The Church of the Advent is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary and, in honor of this milestone, Rector Jeffery Krantz was the guest speaker at a recent Historical Society of the Westburys meeting. Nearly three-dozen patrons gathered in the Westbury Memorial Public Library Meeting Room on Sunday, Feb. 20 for Krantz’ informative pictorial and oral history presentation on the Episcopalian church.

The Church of the Advent, located on four acres of land at Advent Street just north of Jericho Turnpike, was founded by a group of Episcopalian residents tired of traveling by horse and buggy to the “distant” Trinity Church in Roslyn. The founding members included Robert Bacon, Middleton Burrill, Robert Winthrop, Edward Morgan, Charles Steele, George Kent, D. Thomas Moore and H.C. and J.S. Phipps.

Construction and material costs totaled $15,183, said Krantz, and delays resulted in the church being complete nearly a year late. As a result, the first worship service took place on Dec. 19, 1910 the fourth Sunday of Advent. From last December through the end of this year, the Church will be holding various anniversary celebrations.

Krantz spoke of how the renowned architect John Russell Pope designed the Westbury church to resemble an English country church. Pope’s designs alternated between revivals of Gothic, Georgian, eighteenth-century French and classical styles and he was perhaps best known for his designs of the Jefferson Memorial, National Archives and National Gallery of Art, all in Washington, D.C., as well Bresee Hall at Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY) and the Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond, VA).

Krantz, who has served at the Church of the Advent for the past 14 years and is currently only the fourth rector in the Episcopal Church’s 100-year history, also discussed the renovations made to the building over the years and showed copies of a 1917 bulletin and the original, signed founding letter sent to the bishop.

Following the presentation, many patrons asked questions and provided Krantz with their own historical accounts and information about the church and its strong Westbury ties.

The Historical Society of the Westburys has been owned and funded by the Westbury Memorial Public Library since the mid 1940s. For the past 34 years, the small cottage nestled between the Westbury Children’s and Adult Libraries has served as the Society’s headquarters.

For more information about the Historical Society of the Westburys, visit westburylibrary.org or call 333-0176. For additional information about the Church of the Advent and the 100th anniversary, visit adventwestbury.net.