Church History

First Congregational Church was organized in 1939, though its history dates back to the First Parish Church of Haverhill first gathered on October 24, 1645. Rev. John Ward was the first minister of the First Parish. In 1832, the First Parish congregation split over issues of doctrine and piety. First Parish became a Unitarian Church and those that left formed Centre Congregational Church in 1833. North Congregational Church split from Centre Congregational Church in 1859 and built a new church building that would come to be the First Congregational Church in the future. In the early 20th century Rev. James S. Williamson proposed Tiffany Windows as memorials. The first window called "The Ascension" placed over the altar was given by the Women's Guild in 1904. In 1939 the Centre Congregational joined the North Congregational Church and the name was changed to the First Congregational Church. In 1963 the North Parish Church joined with First Congregational Church and in 1964, the First Congregational Church joined the United Church of Christ. After years of diminishing membership, the First Congregational Church sold its 1859 building while continuing worship services with an interim pastor through August of 2010 when First Congregational Church as it was known closed. The remaining members deliberated on the future of the church and determined to part ways. The two groups split the proceeds of the sale of the church; one donated the proceeds to area Congregational Churches and non-profit organizations, the other plans to build a new progressive UCC congregation in Haverhill in the future.

Digital Materials

Disciplinary Case of Stephen Dowe

Mr. Dowe was both accused of and defended from habitual drunkenness by his neighbors. He subsequently made a confession and request for forgiveness, though these records do not indicate whether the church accepted it.

In this testimony, Sarah Robards affirmed Stephen Dowe's drunkenness on several occasions.