Newly-established committee seeks to reinvigorate use of Meeting House

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY (Oct. 1, 2021) – Following several weeks of consideration and internal review, the Village Board in July agreed to establish a new volunteer panel – the Meeting House Events Committee.

A delegation of village government, the committee’s role is to work cooperatively with the executive director, who will conduct the planning and managing of public events and activities to be held at the historic Meeting House, 5658 Main St.

The panel’s volunteers are tasked with being present at regular MHEC meetings to contribute to the committee’s mission, as well assisting during public Meeting House events.

Currently, the committee has seven members and is led by its executive director, Doug Kern.

“The main goal is to have the Meeting House become a viable space for all types of different events,” Kern said. “We want the Meeting House to be a multiuse platform to diversify its use to all kinds of different organizations.”

Owner and president of Rocking Horse Productions for the past 15 years, Kern has been involved in community theater since the late 1980s.

He added that in addition to weddings, plays and music-themed events, the Meeting House’s space could also be used for other activities, such as business meetings, poetry readings or fine arts presentations.

The Meeting House, which is near Mill Street in the village, was built in 1871 by the Society for the Disciples of Christ. When declining membership forced the congregation to disband in 1976, the building was offered to the Village for one dollar. The former church has been restored during the past several decades during various Village Board administrations. The Meeting House was designated a local historic landmark in 1986.

Village Board Trustee David F. Sherman, who is liaison to the committee, said he is excited for the Meeting House to be further used as an events venue while becoming a regional attraction.

“The committee is poised to capitalize on this historic venue, not just for the walkable nature of the Village of Williamsville, but also for those in the broader community who enjoy a more intimate setting for music, drama and other cultural events,” he said.

“The building’s breathtaking interior is ideally suited for more personal functions, such as weddings and small award ceremonies,” Sherman added. “It’s truly a cultural resource worth looking into.”