The Church Building

like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet 2:5, NRSV)

Church Building 1675


The frame of the Meeting House was raised on May 27, 1675. The building was described later by Reverend McNulty as "A building about thirty feet square, unpainted inside or out, with no steeple or bell without and no stove within."

A steeple and bell, as well as a stove, were added later and this little structure served the needs of the town until it was razed in 1803 to make way for a new church.

According to Reverend Dally "The southwest corner of the Meeting House impinged on the northeast corner of the 1803 church." The foundation of the present sanctuary is the original 1803 foundation.

Church Building 1803


The construction of a new house of worship was begun in April 1803. It was consecrated in December of the same year. In April of 1802, a subscription program was started. One quarter of each pledge was to be paid in August 1802, one quarter in January 1803, one quarter in July 1803, and the remainder in January 1804. Dally gives a list of subscribers and the amount each pledged--the total being $3,522.

The building was to be sixty-six by forty-six feet with a tower and steeple. It was designed and built by Elder Jonathon Freeman. As the photo shows, it was a rather plain, typical Colonial building with no fancy cornice or exterior trim and no windows on the sides.

A bell for the spire was bought in 1825 by popular subscription.

Church Building 1875


As can be seen in the 1875 photograph, a great change took place in the architecture of the 1803 building.

A bell for the spire was bought in 1825 by popular subscription. About 1865, an organ was presented by Mr. Henry Morris, who also is said to have given the beautiful chandelier, prior to the 200th anniversary. In 1868-69, a large Sunday School addition was constructed in the rear of the sanctuary.

Sometime during the tenure of the Rev. McNulty, 1874-1906, the exterior of the church changed from a plain, simple, sturdy, white and functional expression of the character of its worshipers to a more ornate Victorian style, complete with large soffits, new roof structure, stained glass windows, and a vestibule in the front. As Mr. McNulty put it, "Its remodeled beauty is also suggestive of the beauties of holiness by which its present worshipers are distinguished."

Church Building 1972


During the period of 1968-1972, a major repair and renovation program was undertaken by the congregation. The Sunday School building was demolished, to be replaced by a new masonry two-story structure, which included offices and rest rooms. The Victorian cornice and brackets were removed and replaced with a classical cornice and built-in gutters. A narthex was added, as well as a portico with pediment and ionic columns. The old stained glass trimmed leaded windows, which were deemed unrepairable, were removed and replaced with new tinted, seeded glass. These conformed with the classical architectural style of the building.

A new foundation was installed, to stabilize the old rubble 1803 structure, and the entire building was veneered with white brick. The basement floor level was lowered three feet and reinforced concrete flooring was installed. New steel columns and girders and a five-inch reinforced concrete floor was provided for the sanctuary.

The choir loft was enlarged by eight feet. First floor exit doors were moved and new exits provided on the balcony level. The balcony was reinforced with steel columns. While the construction was in progress, the old pews were removed, refinished and new cushions were provided.

Large steel H columns, now encased in wood, were installed from new concrete footings in the basement to just above the Historical Room ceiling. This was done to stabilize the steeple which had been leaning slightly to the East for many years.