Tag Archives: Congregational

First Congregational Church of Boylston (1927)

First Congregational Church of Boylston

The origins of the First Congregational Church of Boylston go back to 1742, when the North Precinct in Shrewsbury (now Boylston) was incorporated. The congregation’s first meeting house was built near the site of the present Old Cemetery. When the time came to build a new meeting house (constructed in 1793), there was a protracted controversy over where in town it should be located. After the decision was finally made to build the Church on the site of the present Sawyer Memorial Library, residents in the western side of town, who had wanted the church built closer to their homes, began the process which eventually led to the incorporation of West Boylston as a separate town. The third meeting house was built in the Greek Revival style in 1835. After it burned in 1924 it was replaced, on the same site, by the current church, completed in a similar style in 1927. The original bell of the third meeting house is used in the present building.

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First Congregational Church of Adams (1868)

First Congregational Church, Adams

The First Congregational Church of Adams, at 42 Park Street in Adams, is a wood-frame church built in 1868. At some point, the church lost its original tall steeple, which was replaced with the current shortened one. Just to the south are the parish house and parsonage, built in 1895.

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St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (1869)

St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Springfield

In 1865, a society was formed to establish a new Congregational church in the the north section of Springfield. The cornerstone for the new Memorial Congregational Church was laid on July 18, 1867. The church, constructed on a knoll at Plainfield and North Main Streets (an area now called Memorial Square), was designed by Richard Upjohn. The granite used for the building was the gift of Mr. William Flint of Monson. The church was dedicated on June 3, 1869. In 1940, Memorial Congregational Church merged with Hope Congregational Church (Hope Church merged with Faith Congregational Church in 1977). The former Memorial Congregational Church building was sold to the Hellenic Religious Building Fund Corporation to become St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church. A brick house on Auburn Street had become the church’s first building in 1907. The church moved to Patton Street in 1919. In 1977, one-third of the church community left to form the new St. Luke parish in East Longmeadow. St. George Church then became known as St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

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United Congregational Church, Worcester (1885)

Dissatisfaction over the choice of minister at the Old South Church in Worcester in 1820 led Daniel Waldo (1763-1845) to organize a new parish, originally called the Calvinist Church. The name was officially changed to Central Church in 1879. Waldo paid for the construction of the congregation’s first meetinghouse in 1823-1825. Located on Main Street, near George Street, it was later replaced by the current church, built in 1884-1885 at the corner of Salisbury Street and Institute Road. The Romanesque Revival-style Central Church, built of Longmeadow brownstone, was designed by Stephen C. Earle. When the studio of John LaFarge proved too busy to design the interiors, the church commissioned Sarah Lyman Whitman, a former student of William Morris Hunt. Central Church merged with Chestnut Street Congregational Church in 1982 to form United Congregational Church.

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First Churches of Northampton (1877)

First Churches of Northampton is made up of the combined congregations of the First Church of Christ and the First Baptist Church. The first meeting house of the town’s Puritan settlers was constructed in 1655 on what became known as “Meeting House Hill,” near where the courthouse stands today. A new meeting house, further up the hill, was then built in 1661. The third meeting house was built in 1737, during the pastorate of Jonathan Edwards. It was replaced in 1812 by what became known as the “Old Church,” a Federal-style edifice, designed by Isaac Damon. After it was destroyed by fire in 1876, it was replaced by the current church building, built in 1877 and designed by Peabody and Stearns.

The Baptist Church in Northampton was founded in 1822 by Benjamin Willard, an itinerant Baptist missionary. A church building, designed by Isaac Damon, was dedicated on West Street in 1829. Repairs were made to the church after a fire on December 29, 1863. A new church edifice was dedicated in 1904. The First Baptist Church of Northampton merged with the First Church of Christ in 1988

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First Congregational Church, Clinton (1892)

The First Congregational Church in Clinton is located at 34 Walnut Street. The church began as the Second Evangelical Church of Lancaster in 1844, with a chapel being constructed at the southwest corner of Main and Sterling Streets.The congregation became so large that a new church was built on Walnut Street in 1846. It was remodeled and enlarged in 1858-1859. The construction and remodeling of of these church structures was supported by donations from H.N. Bigelow of the Bigelow Carpet Company. The current church was built in 1892. The Gothic Revival edifice has stained glass windows which were donated by a group of Chinese laborers who were working at the time on the construction of the Wachusett Dam.

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First Congregational Church of Westfield (1860)

The First Congregational Church of Westfield, located on Broad Street across from Westfield Green, is an impressive Italianate edifice. It is the church’s fourth meeting house. The first was built around 1673 and the second around 1720. The latter building burned in 1803 and was replaced in 1805 by a new meeting house, called the Bulfinch Church because of its Charles Bulfinch-derived design. According to Vol. 2 of Lockwood’s Westfield and its Historic Influences (1922):

The old Bulfinch church building was purchased by Hon. William G. Bates, moved to a lot back of its old location, and, the steeple having been taken down, used for carriage making and other purposes for many years, until destroyed by fire.

The present church building was erected in 1860, with L. F. Thayer as architect and George Green as builder. The efficient work of the latter was so highly appreciated when completed that the society voted him a gift of $500.

The original steeple was damaged in a windstorm on February 27, 1886, when it was torn off and crashed into the church. It was replaced by an extremely elaborate second steeple, which was in turn replaced by the current steeple, erected in 1962.

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