Church History

 

In 1744, the Rev. Jonathan Lee rode into this “wilderness” on horseback to become our first pastor. In New England tradition, our first Meeting House served as the center of political, social, and religious assembly. Our present Meeting House, built in 1800, remains as a living example of Puritan simplicity. The Congregational Church of Salisbury is part of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a denomination which was formed in 1957 with the merger of two church bodies – the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church. Today the United Church of Christ includes almost 2 million people in nearly 6,500 congregations.


CHURCH TIMELINE

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1741

Settlers petition General Court for “town privileges and liberty to imbody in church estate” 

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1744

The Church is formed and the Rev. Jonathan Lee installed as Minister in a log house 30 x 25 feet, which served as the Lee’s home as well as the place of worship.

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1750

The First Meeting House was built for worship and town meetings where the Town Hall now stands: 45 long by 35 feet wide. Residents gathered at “sabba day houses” between services for lunch, warmth and socialization

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1788

The Rev. Jonathan Lee dies and is buried in graveyard behind Town Hall.

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1796

The Rev. Joseph Warren Crossman called as second Minister

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1800

The present Meeting House was erected measuring 64×45. All town residents required to contribute money or building material.

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1804

Separation of Church and State – Ecclesiastical Society formed.

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1812

Rev. Crossman dies while ministering to the sick during an epidemic of typhoid pleurisy.

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1837

The Rev. Adam Reid begins 40 year ministry. “The spell binder” packs theMeeting House Sunday after Sunday

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1845

First parsonage built.

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1850

Square pews, high Pulpit and original Ionic pillars are “swept away by the modernizing wave”

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1853

Present Bell weighing over 1,000 lbs. struck at Troy and placed in the belfry

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1859

Notable layman Dr. Henry M. Knight opens first institution for training of mentally retarded.

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1867

Church organ replaces use of stringed instruments.

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1867

John Calvin Goddard begins 60 years of service as Pastor and Pastor Emeritus

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1889

Organ and choir pews moved to front of Church.

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1892

Preparatory School founded by Maria Hotchkiss.

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1894

One Hundredth and Fiftieth Anniversary attended by over 400

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1900

Current Meeting House and Watering Kettle, Circa 1900

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1913

Church remodeled and organ installed in the balcony.

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1922

Upkeep Society came into being for fellowship and raising money for the upkeep of the Parsonage.

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1948

The Rev. Lawrence Stone begins 21 years of service as 12th Pastor.

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1959

Parish Hall, designed by Norton Miner, is built.

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1965-66

Meeting House renovated: cove ceiling and pillars from balcony to ceiling are restored, antique weather vane repaced by the whale. New Schantz organ is installed.

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1970

The Rev. Dr. Charles Ranson installed as Pastor.Albert Sly joins staff as organist/choir master.

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1972

Tom and Francis Wagner, members of this congregation, are instrumental in establishing Noble Horizons.

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1975

The Rev. John Hay installed as Pastor.

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1981

The Rev. Richard Taber begins 27 years of service as 15th Pastor.

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1992

The Rev. Lawrence Stone named Pastor Emeritus

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1994

250th Anniversary celebrated, (Video: “To Build the Faith Together” available for loan) Partnership with Iglesia Cristiana Adonay established.

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2000

Centennial Garden developed. (pictures above)Anniversary of raising of the Meeting House.

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2006

Senior Youth Group trip to New Orleans.

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2008

Search for Associate Pastor begins.

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2009

Rev. Richard Taber retires after 27 years with the church.The Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Austin installed as Interim Pastor

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2010

Celebration of Al Sly’s 40 years with the church.

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2011

an. 9th, the Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Austin’s last Sunday in our pulpit.Jan. 16th, the Rev. Diane Monti-Catania’s first Sunday as our settled pastor.May 15th, Service of Installation of The Rev. Diane Monti-Cataniaas the Congregational Church of Salisbury’s 16th settled pastor.

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2013

Renovation of the Parish Hall

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2014

December 31st, Albert Sly, Minister of Music retires after 45 years of service to the church.

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2015

March 9th, we welcomed Jack Bowman as our new Minister of Music.

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