Arts & Culture Featured People

Occupational Hazards: The Rev. Stephen Ayres, 20 Years as Old North’s Leader [Video]

Presiding over Old North Church for the past twenty years has been Rev. Stephen T. Ayres, playing the role of Vicar and spiritual leader of the North End congregation while also managing of one of the most famous historical sites in the nation. Last fall, the Old North patrons and friends celebrated Steve’s two decades at a gala affair.

In 2018, Old North is recognizing 250 years since the landing of the British troops in Boston with a series of “occupation” related talks, explained co-director of education, Erin Yuskaitis. Also introducing Ayres’ lecture was Old North’s other vicar, Ellie Terry.

Vicar Ayres has led thousands of worship services, preached over one thousand sermons, married nearly a hundred couples, baptized over a hundred babies, and presided over dozens of funerals.

At the same time, he has helped transform the Old North Church from a brief stop on the Freedom Trail into a respected and professional historic site that teaches history and civic values to hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Covering a wide range of topics from 9/11 to Sarah Palin, Ayres spoke about becoming a vicar and how that spiritual calling intersected with his managing Old North as a historic site. He also offered his own experience in translating the American tradition of separating church and state.

A talented speaker, Ayres lecture is filled with fascinating historic lore and amusing anecdotes from his twenty years (and counting) at Old North.

View the full lecture by Rev. Stephen T. Ayres in the above video.