St. James Episcopal Church launched its 275th anniversary year Thursday with the opening of an exhibit at LancasterHistory. On Oct. 3, 1744, a congregation of the Church of England was formally organized in Lancaster.

The Rev. Richard Locke, an Anglican priest, was the first rector. At the corner of Duke and Orange streets, Lots No. 34, 35 and 36 of the original town plot were given to St. James to be used for the graveyard, church and parish building, respectively.

The original stone church was completed in 1753. Until that time, the congregation met in the old courthouse on what is now Penn Square.

The exhibit at LancasterHistory, “Treasured Journey,” will run for six months. A parishwide retreat is scheduled to take place today.