By Carol Vaughn
Onancock residents gathered Sunday, Sept. 11, on the lawn of Ker Place for a community unity service to celebrate the renewing of fellowship after the hardship of isolation during the COVID- 19 pandemic, as well as to remember those lost during the pandemic and in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Additionally, the service was to recognize the strong support of the community “during the struggles of local businesses, agencies, schools, families, facilities, and frontline workers,” according to the bulletin.
Onancock churches gathering at the service were Bethel AME Church, Naomi Makemie Presbyterian Church, Market Street United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, and Onancock Baptist Church, with ministers from those churches participating in the program, along with a community choir led by Michelle Marsh.
The event, which included a picnic dinner, was described in the written program as “a reigniting of a gathering from 2007 in which the community gathered for the purpose of remembering the rich and diverse religious heritage” of Onancock, founded in 1680.
According to the late historian the Rev. Kirk Mariner’s book, “Revival’s Children,” the first two denominations with a presence in Onancock were the Anglicans and the Baptists, followed by the Presbyterians and the Methodists.
Onancock today also has the well-established AME church, Pentecostal churches, and other independent congregations.