Our History

Our History

Historical Timeline

This online timeline was created as part of the 300th Anniversary project.  It contains information about events in the life of First Church as well as the Town of Longmeadow since the history of both are very much intertwined.

If you have an item you feel should be added to the timeline, please send it to deb@firstchurchlongmeadow.org.

View the historical timeline.

The First Church Building

History of the Building and Grounds

The original Meeting House was constructed in 1716, after 40 years of debate with Springfield officials and final approval in the General Court of Boston. The building, which was relatively small (only 32 feet by 38 feet), was located where the flagpole is now standing on the Green. The nearly square unpainted building had a pyramidal roof with a central bell tower. The first bell was installed 27 years later. During the interim, Nathaniel Burt was paid 10 shillings a year ($2) to go up and down the street beating a drum announcing the services.

In 1729, after years of debate, it was agreed to lath and plaster the interior of the building. There were only two windows, located on the south side. In August of 1743, two more windows were added on the north side, one on each side of the pulpit. There was no heat in the building and the congregation sat on benches until about 1745, when square pews were added, a few at a time.

In 1764 so many repairs were needed that it was voted to build a second Meeting House which was built in 1767-68. The old Meeting House was torn down on June 12, 1769.…

Historical List of Pastors

PASTORS OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST

1. Stephen Williams* 1716–1783  View the presentation of excerpts from Stephen Williams’ diaries.

2. Richard Salter Storrs 1785–1819

3. Baxter Dickinson 1823–1829

4. Jonathan Bailey Condit 1831–1835

5. Howard Beebe 1837–1843

6. Samuel Wolcutt 1843–1847

7. John Wheeler Harding 1850–1891

8. Stephen Goodyear Barnes 1891–1900

9. Henry Lincoln Bailey 1901–1917

10. Randolph Merrill 1917–1931

11. Robert Merrill Bartlett 1932–1942

12. Eugene M. Bushong 1943–1960
Carl Noble, Assoc. 1953–1957
A. Lee Holcutt, Assoc. 1957–1960

13. Daniel Bliss Leavitt 1962–1972
George Beilby, Assoc. 1962–1969
Clarke Schaaf, CE Min. 1970–1972
Nelson Schlegel, Visit. Min. 1971–1977

14. Clarke Baldwin Schaaf 1972–1975
Gary A. DeLong, Assoc. 1973–1975

15a. Gary A. DeLong and
Clarke B. Schaaf, Co-Pastors 1975–1987

15b. Gary A. DeLong 1987–1999
Joan Sulser, Assoc. 1988–1990
Thomas A. Roan, Assoc. 1991–2000

16. Michael S. Bennett 2002–2012
Curtis J. Preston, Assoc. 2003–2008
Beth Boisvert, Assoc. 2009–2012

17. Pamela McGrath 2017–

 

*Rev. Stephen Williams actually served the people from 1714 to 1716 before the church was gathered and before his ordination. His diaries are still intact and copies are available for reading at the Storrs Library.…