By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This weekend marks the culmination of a yearlong celebration of a miraculous milestone at a Philadelphia church.

The African Episcopal Church of Saint Thomas on Lancaster Avenue in Overbrook was founded back in 1792. So throughout 2017…

“We’re celebrating 225 years of existence,” says Albert Dandridge, who has been planning the festivities all year.

Hundreds of people attended a special gala on North Broad Street to kick off this celebratory weekend.

“We’re excited,” Dandridge says. “This is a wonderful church and we all love our church, we love our rector and so we are just proud of everything we’ve accomplished over the years.”

Among the notable church members over the years is activist Octavius Catto, who recently became the first African American to be honored in Philadelphia with a statue.

And there have been many other significant moments over the last two centuries plus.

“It is hard to believe,” Dandridge adds. “We’re still keeping our faith, we’re still keeping our legacy and we’re still keeping our hope. So that is the theme…legacy faith and hope, and we’re celebrating all three of those.”

The celebration continues at the church Sunday morning with a special ceremony during their worship service.

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