How to Celebrate a Church Anniversary with Gifts, Food, and Memorable Videos

Emma DavisUncategorized Leave a Comment

Celebrating a church anniversary is a significant event and one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Back in 2019, 4,500 Protestant churches closed in 2019, with about 3,000 new churches opening, according to Lifeway Research. Each year a church’s doors are open is a blessing in a time when things may seem unsure.

Besides, it’s always nice to have something to celebrate. A church’s anniversary is a great time to refocus, remember, and look forward to the years ahead. You can mark this occasion by hosting an anniversary banquet or passing out small gifts such as a keychain or cookie. There are many ways to mark church anniversary celebrations and we hope we can inspire you with some amazing ideas.

The Bible Celebrates Too

Paul talked about the discipline of looking back in Romans 15:4-6:

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 4:16

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Luke 6:48

“They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”

1 Peter 2:19

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Matthew 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Colossians 3:23-24

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Why Celebrate a Church Anniversary?

Throughout the Bible, the Lord reminds people to tell all generations of the Lord’s amazing works. Part of what that means as a church is that we must preserve the memory of how God has worked in our lives. A church that has a strong sense of its history will have a better sense of identity to build on for the future. Every now and then each congregation should take a look back to rediscover how their church came into being, what its early ministry was like, and how it has grown and changed over the years.

Such a celebration allows individual members to join together in focusing on the church as a body of believers who have been blessed by the Lord. It can also be a wonderful time to benefit from the gifts of the people. Church members of all ages have to tell and hear stories of the past and present days of the church.

Fresh Vision is Sparked

A church anniversary is a great time to cast a fresh vision. It can also be a time to reflect on the past years and appreciate that time. The senior pastor typically conducts this type of service. They can tell the story of how the church came to be, which might not be a story everyone in the congregation has heard. Not only is it good for the church family to be renewed with fresh vision, but the church staff as well.

Day after day, sometimes our jobs become mundane. But we must never forget the purpose and who we are serving. God is our focus and our reason for celebrating. It is because of God’s blessing that a church can celebrate year after year. The church culture often needs to be reset, and an anniversary is a great time to do this.

It’s good to celebrate!

Yes, even a church can go through ups and downs. Especially living in a time after COVID-19, it’s important to acknowledge anniversaries and celebrate each passing year. Did your church open a new church building? Did you raise a lot of funds last year? Or did you increase attendance since your last anniversary? Gather statistics that are wins and you can share them with the congregation.

An anniversary weekend should be a big deal, but only last that one weekend. Just as certain years can be celebrated in a bigger way. The first year, 5th, 10th, 25th and so on are big markers in a church’s life span.

Ways you can celebrate for each milestone:

  • For the 5th Anniversary, rent a local performing arts center on Saturday night and replay the best moments of the first five years.
  • For the 10th Anniversary, hold a special dinner and celebration on the grounds on Sunday night.
  • For the 15th Anniversary, rent a local amphitheater or center and hold a special service there together.
  • For the 25th Anniversary, hold a gala in the building and invite back alumni staff and founding members.

Anniversary ideas:


Depending on your church’s size, this can reflect how much food you provide. If your congregation is smaller, perhaps hosting a potluck after the service is a great way to come together. Your church family can help to play a part in whatever you choose. Or if your congregation size is larger, consider a small cookie or treat to pass out to members as they leave service.

Incredible Cookie allows you to customize a cookie with a printed logo on a bag or even the cookie itself. Choose from chocolate chip or sugar cookie flavors. Their orders ship within two days for ultimate freshness and you’re also able to make an order for a future date.


A church anniversary should have a theme, and with this theme, come up with a logo and design. This design can then be put onto customized cups, mugs, journals, or even t-shirts for sale. People love representing their church wherever they go!


A keychain is a fun and simple way to celebrate your church’s anniversary! You can customize to include your church’s name and anniversary year date. This can be attached to keys as a reminder of your favorite place.


A customized bookmark is a simple idea as well. Fully customized to fit your church’s needs, this is a cost effective gift idea. This can be handed out as people enter or leave service. A bookmark can be used in a Bible or journal and is a nice personal touch. Check out Disciple Press for other bookmark inspirations!


Just as with a bookmark or keychain, a journal can be fully customized! This is another great gift idea and people can either use it for personal use or for taking notes during service.


Either by itself or paired with the customized journal, a special ink pen for a church anniversary is a great gift idea to hand out! It can have your church name and anniversary date you’re celebrating.


Creating a special customized t-shirt is a fun way to celebrate. The shirt can be customized by color, logo, words and more. Choose a design for the front, back, both or one. Having a shirt designed allows your church members to be proud and walk around wearing a momentous celebration.

Ministry Gear is a great website that allows you to create your own anniversary t-shirt. Check them out and be inspired by 100’s of pre-made designs.

Check out Amazon Gifts and Etsy Gifts for other amazing gift ideas!

Video Montage

A video montage is a great tribute to the years that have passed. It’s a time to reflect and remember where your church started. Show old pictures of the first gathering, and what the senior pastor looked like at the time. Chances are, a lot of current members weren’t around at the beginning of your church’s formation. It’s fun to look at old pictures and videos and see how far you’ve come.

For inspiration on one way to put together a video montage, check out First Baptist Church of Glenarden’s great video!

Other Church Anniversary Ideas

  • Host a Banquet or Luncheon – Have a meal or luncheon in your fellowship hall and maybe have your teenagers serve the tables. You might encourage everyone to bring special church photos to share at their tables.
  • Church Anniversary Invitation Cards – Send out beautiful invitation cards to the members, former members, others connected to the church as well as local community leaders, etc.
  • Church Anniversary Letters – Send out these special invitation letters to members, parishioners, etc. approximately month prior to event.
  • Create a video of remembrance: Have a booth where older members of the church can be interviewed and videotaped. Ask them to reminisce about their memories of the church and what they hope to see in its future. 
  • Get everyone involved: Try to find ways to include members of all ages in your anniversary celebration. The more, the merrier! Ask an elder to take a turn in a congregational prayer or invite other members to lead responsive readings of well-known Scriptures. 
  • Invite former pastors to preach again: Along with previous pastors, feel free to include other special members in the services, such as your church’s poets, musicians, artists and more. 
  • Gift your pastor with an award: Personalized pastor appreciation plaques are an excellent way to show your appreciation for your leader’s hard work and dedication over the years. 

Share Your History

Write and publish a church history. Your church’s history becomes more important the older the church is, but younger churches still need to give attention to this, so that in later years, historians will have materials to work with.

For a younger church, this might be a very short tale. A church of ten to twenty-five years might publish a small booklet. A church of fifty years may be able to publish a small book. Churches over 100 years old should definitely think about publishing a solid account of what the Lord has done in their midst over the years. Realize that this is a wonderful opportunity for testifying of God’s grace, mercy and provision.

Members of the church can each write on paper an account of what the church has meant in their lives, and these pages can then be gathered together into a book that can be on display in the foyer. Each week turn the page to display a different member’s story.


You don’t want too many different aspects to your celebration. Instead, you want to ensure that everything is tied together in a way that makes sense. The more people you can involve in the planning process, the better. You can do this through in-person meetings, online brainstorming, and voting for the best ideas.

When choosing an anniversary plan, you want to ensure it aligns with your core beliefs and provides an entertaining atmosphere for your congregation members. Church anniversary celebrations are an excellent opportunity to get creative, build camaraderie among church members and make lasting memories that will help keep your church thriving

Here at REACHRIGHT, we have a podcast where we discuss the best way to host a church anniversary celebration. Take some time to listen on your way to work or as you wind down for the day. God has blessed your church, so take the time to be grateful and thankful!

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