Service Center recalls its past Name change marks 50 years of service

What's in a name -- the New Windsor Service Center by any other name could effectively serve the world.

But center administrators feel they are celebrating a 50-year heritage of goodwill by reclaiming its original name, the Brethren Service Center.


"Everything old is new," Kathleen Campanella, a center spokeswoman, said of the name change, effective tomorrow.

"As part of our 50th anniversary celebration, it's sort of a return to our roots in terms of name recognition," she said.


Tomorrow the center begins an 11-month celebration commemorating the purchase of its New Windsor site, formerly the Blue Ridge College property, which was bought by the Church of the Brethren at a public auction in September 1944.

Members of the Church of the Brethren General Board, who will be meeting in New Windsor tomorrow, and County Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy will participate in the unveiling of a sign bearing the center's reclaimed name.

"We wanted a yearlong celebration, so we thought a good time to begin would be when the General Board was meeting," Ms. Campanella said.

Although the actual anniversary is not until next year, the center plans to promote one of its various programs each month, beginning in February, to make the public more aware of the center's commitment to assist people in need worldwide.

The Brethren Service Center is owned and operated by the Church of the Brethren. The 26-acre site on Route 31 was purchased at a public auction for $31,300 in September 1944. Four buildings -- Old Main, which houses the Serrv International Gift Shop; Windsor Hall; Becker Hall; and the Blue Ridge building -- were included in the parcel.

Since then, two buildings were added and the distribution center for material resources was constructed farther down Route 31 at Church Street.

Joan Deeter, executive of World Ministries Commissions, remarked that the organization's former use of "the location name [New Windsor Service Center] was a way of recognizing the ecumenical nature of much that happens here."

But with the center's location, identity and purpose firmly established, the return to the original name will more clearly express "the ongoing commitment of the Church of the Brethren to maintaining and enlarging the significant work that is done through this location," she said.