The First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sidney has been part of the community for 211 years, but shortly after Christmas, it will be closing its doors.
"When we finally end this and close the doors, it will be a sad moment; the realization that we won't come together as a family again for quite a while,” said David Plummer, who’s been going to the church since the mid-2000s.
Some members of the congregation have been attending services for several decades and will be incredibly sad to see it go.
"The outward emotion, the tears, the anguish, all that sort of thing, I am not allowing myself to let that happen, and I will not let that happen until after the first of the year," said Mary Jane Plummer, who’s been a member for roughly 60 years.
For many, the church has been the place of many memories, including baptisms, weddings, and special holiday services.
This closure comes as many other churches continue to struggle with attendance. Recently, a church closed its door after several decades in Auburn.
Mary Jane Plummer is afraid that trend will continue to result in more churches shutting their doors for good.
"This is not indigenous to Sidney, New York, it's all the way across the country. There is a decline in church membership. And while this church is the oldest in Sidney, and we are the first to close our doors, it's my very, very strong opinion we will not be the last," Plumber said.
But for now, members of the congregation will continue celebrating their church’s rich history.
Sunday, a special service included hymns from each of the church’s seasons, and a celebratory concert will be held next weekend.