Photo by Alan Lincourt, photographer, and owner of Pro Image Photo, Cooperstown, N.Y.

by Shelley Scarano

Little Falls has so much history, and when we have the opportunity to focus on a particular aspect and learn more about it, we find a reflection of the vision and dedication of the people who helped put Little Falls on the map. One part of that history is the forming and then building of the various churches. Although, due to age and population decline Little Falls has lost some of those, the ones that remain have such interesting history and stories to tell.

One of those is Emmanuel Episcopal Church, located at 588 Albany Street. In 2023, Emmanuel will be celebrating its 200th Anniversary!

Emmanuel was the first single-denominational church in the village. In 1823 the church was incorporated and gathered in the “Octagon Church” for 12 years. The name that they choose, Emmanuel, means “God with us”. Although the church building currently being used is not 200 years old yet, it is listed on the National Historic registry as having been built in 1835.

In 1833, with the financial help of Trinity Church, Wall Street, money was raised to build the current stone Church building. In 1835, it was Consecrated by Bishop Onderdonk of the Diocese of New York. Emmanuel Church for the next 45 years, was part of that Diocese until it became a member of the Albany Diocese.

There are many things planned to celebrate this milestone anniversary year. A 200th Anniversary Committee was formed with volunteers Jud Pananaci, Pat LaFontaine, Kate Skubitz, Nan Ressue, Shelley Quinn-Scarano, Dominick Scarano, and Father Jack Whritenour. Together they have created a list of events and activities to honor this special anniversary year. The kickoff event will be held on Sunday, February 18th, with a special service and coffee hour to follow.

This December, at the Annual St. Nicholas Bazaar, held on December 10, 2022, from 10:00-3:00, during the Annual Christmas in Little Falls event, some items will be available to purchase that will commemorate some of the historical aspects of the church building. These items are also available at Chickweed, a beautiful store on Main St. owned and operated by Kelly Scarano Grcic.

There are two different Christmas ornaments, one with the image of the beautiful stained glass nativity window and one with images of the church building from 1915 and with the church building as it is currently. There are also photos for sale of the stained glass Nativity window, framed and unframed. All these items were made possible through the talents of Alan Lincourt, photographer, and owner of Pro Image Photo, Cooperstown, N.Y. Alan took the photos, collaborated with the committee, and has worked tirelessly to create these amazing works of art. Come see them for yourself, they will make very special Christmas presents!

This is just a glimpse of the history and things being planned to celebrate this milestone anniversary. Look for more updates to follow in 2023! If you have never seen the inside of this historic church building, come join us at 10:00 Sunday morning. If you have, come again, all are welcome! While you will find that the stained glass, architecture, and warm red carpet invites you to stay and appreciate its history, you will also find that the love and fellowship of the church (the people) will invite you to return.

That Love is what has kept Emmanuel together for 200 years and counting. Emmanuel (God with us), past, present, and into the future!