New Utrecht Reformed Church
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EDITORS: We invite your coverage. We also call to your attention for more
information about James Getty:
BROOKLYN - Abraham Lincoln was only 19 at the time - when a famous Brooklyn
building, the New Utrecht Reformed
Church at 18th Ave. and 84th St. in Bensonhurst, opened its doors to the
But now, when Mr. James Getty arrives for one of his popular appearances in
which he "becomes" Lincoln for members of the community who enjoy finding out
about life in those times, the doors to the 1828 building will be locked. For
more than a year, scaffolding to reinforce a roof has replaced people in the
One of Mr. Getty's two performances Thursday, Feb. 10, will be in the church's
Parish House, itself a historic structure known for its stained-glass windows
and architecture. The show, free of charge, begins at 7:15 p.m.
Parking is available in
the church lot, off 18th Ave. Bus and subway stops also are nearby.
Earlier in the day, "President Lincoln" will be seen by more than 1,200 students
at New Utrecht High School in a
program arranged by Friends of
Historic New Utrecht and school officials. Until December of 2003, when the
church building was
Lincoln's Birthday and other educational and cultural programs for the community
were held in the church
"In the church, the students were in a historically authentic setting - much as
Mr. Lincoln would have seen if he had visited Brooklyn in the 1800's," Friends
president Robert Buonvino says. The historic organization and the church are
raising funds to
repair and restore the stone and wood structure. The cost is estimated at $2
Mr. Getty is from Gettysburg, Pa. For more than 25 years he has given his
one-man show as the nation's 16th president not only at The Battle Theater in
Gettysburg but on television and in theaters around this country and in Canada.
He also has worked with the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Seminars, the
Corcoran Gallery and with universities including Johns Hopkins. His voice is
heard as that of President Lincoln in two A&E programs. He appears in the Turner
television film "The Ironclads."
In his Brooklyn programs, Mr. Getty, as Lincoln, will tell homespun stories
about his early years, recalling his personal as well as political life. He
shares the anguish he felt over Gettysburg and delivers his
Because seating in the Parish House is limited, Mr. Buonvino suggests "history
buffs" and others in the general public, including veterans and seniors groups,
interested in attending the Thursday evening program at the church call in
advance to reserve a seat. The number is (718) 256-7173.
The high school program is one of many in which the Friends organization and the
New York City school system are working together to bring "living history
lessons" to city youngsters. Mr. Getty's school appearance is made possible
through the assistance of New Utrecht High School Principal Howard J. Lucks and
Vice Principal Joseph Rizzi. With the assistance of librarian Norman Ringle,
Friends also is opening to school children the church's archive material dating
from Brooklyn's earliest years, from which the school got its name.
The New Utrecht Reformed Church, a member of the mainline
Reformed Church in America (RCA), was founded
in 1677. Its minister is the Rev. Terry Troia from Staten Island. Rev. Troia
also is executive director of
Project Hospitality, which serves the needy.
More information on the history of Brooklyn is available at
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