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History of first five churches revealed in new book

Date: 4/17/2012

April 16, 2012

By Matt Murphy

EAST LONGMEADOW — The opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from someone who experienced century-old events first-hand is very rare. Merle Safford is providing this chance, and a rarer one still: the opportunity to hear it again and again.

Safford, a 93-year-old resident of East Longmeadow, has written "Faith of Our Founders," an anthology of East Longmeadow's first five churches, which will be premiered at the Council on Aging, 328 Main St. All five churches were founded before July 4, 1894, which is the date that East Longmeadow became an official town.

"Mrs. Safford started writing the book a few years ago and the book was about 95 percent complete when I offered to proofread and edit [it]," Lavada Munoz explained. "[I had] the joy of working with Mrs. Safford and marveling at her skills and commitment."

At age 93, Safford lived during the youth of these churches.

The book premiere will take place on April 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. Safford will be present to sign those books that are purchased.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will support the programs of the historical Norcross Center, 89 Maple St.

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