A Brief History of First Church
First Church Congregational, UCC was organized on October 28, 1729 and has enjoyed a continuous existence since then.
The first meetinghouse was erected by the Town and dedicated on August 29, 1728, near the burial ground on Meeting House Hill (opposite Holy Family Hospital). The second meetinghouse was dedicated for public worship on November 5, 1796 and moved to the site of the present church in 1832. The present edifice, built of Pelham granite and hand-hewn timbers from the 1796 building supporting the floor, was dedicated on October 3, 1855.
First Church is home of the beautiful “Resurrection Window” by the artist, John LaFarge. Fashioned of opalescent glass, this window is well known far a field for its special beauty. The apse was designed by the artist’s son to complement the window.
The 1866 James E. Treat (opus 1) pipe organ was built for E. Searle’s Great Barrington, MA residence and relocated to the church in 1924. The case and console are constructed of solid, carved English oak. The organ contains 40 ranks of pipes distributed over three manuals (keyboards) and pedal.
Our Parish House, erected by the parishioners grateful of their heritage, was dedicated on May 24, 1964. This building is the scene of great activity for both church and community.
Since its beginning, our church has witnessed many changes. It has evolved from a small meetinghouse to membership in the United Church of Christ; from a Parish of a few to a Parish of several hundred. Now, under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Bill Ingraham, our church will continue it’s important mission to put God first, and to be God’s servant in the service of all people.
First Church, because of it’s historical significance and unique gothic architecture, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
First Church is home to The Chapel School, a non-denominational preschool