First Congregational Church of Natick (1876)

The earliest Congregational Church in Natick was founded in 1651 by John Eliot and served the Natick Praying Indians, who were settled in what is now South Natick. After the retirement in 1799 of Rev. Stephen Badger, last pastor to the Praying Indians, a new First Congregational Church was organized to the north in 1802, with construction of a meeting house having already been started in 1799, in what is now the center of Natick. As described in the History of Middlesex County, Vol. I (1890):

The congregation having again outgrown the meeting-house, this was sold to a Universalist Society, which later, becoming extinct, sold the house to the Roman Catholic denomination. This, enlarged, is the Catholic Church of the present day in the centre of Natick. The Congregational Society then erected a third meeting-house upon the site of the one removed, during the years 1853-54, which was dedicated Nov. 15th of the latter year.

Disaster struck on January 13,1874 when, again quoting from the History,

nearly all the business portion of Natick was laid in ashes, including every hall in the place and the Congregational Church, just enlarged and improved at the cost of about $13,000. This loss of the sanctuary rendered necessary the building of a temporary tabernacle, which, in a rough way, was made ready for religious and other purposes as soon as possible, at the cost of about $1700. Additional land was purchased upon the east side of the old church lot, and the erection of the present beautiful brick church edifice commenced, and so far completed that the vestries could be used for public worship April 30, 1876.

The church, built in 1875-1880 and attributed to J.B. Goodall, is an an example of High Victorian Gothic, with a distinctive polychromatic steeple.

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3 Responses to First Congregational Church of Natick (1876)

  1. Jon Churchill says:

    Very Pretty Church!

  2. Cindy Goldman says:

    My children went to pre-school in this beautiful building.

  3. Lynn says:

    As a young girl growing up, my family and I attended this church. Beautiful..

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