Historical Sketch, Ware First Congregational Church
Tiie earliest records of this church have not been preserved, but, according to other public documents, the inhabitants of this vicinity were legally constituted a parish in 1742.
At the first parish meeting, it was voted to raise "forty pound, old tenor," for the purpose of hiring Rev. Mr. Dickinson as long as the funds lasted.
In 1750, measures were adopted for the erection of a meeting house in the center of the town. This house was occupied till the year 1800, when the second church edifice was erected near the site of the first. In 1843, it was remodeled in its present form.
The church was organized May 9, 1751, consisting of, as is supposed, from thirty to forty members. On the same day, Rev. Grindall Rawson was ordained as its first pastor, and contiuued in office until he was dismissed January 19, 1754, at which time the number of members was forty-three.
After being without a pastor nearly five years. Rev. Ezra Thayer was ordained January 10, 1759. Previously the church had been without a covenant. The council called at this time prepared one, which was adopted by the church. During Mr. Thayer's ministry, which lasted till his decease, February 11, 1775, 79 were added to the church.
During the nest ten years, the pulpit was occupied by various candidates and stated supplies. Rev. Benj. Judd,— ordained October 12, 1785,—was dismissed September 28, 1787. Three were admitted while he was pastor.
After an interval of five years. Rev. Reuben Moss was ordained Juue 21, 1792, and died February 17, 1809. In his ministry, of nearly seventeen years, 51 were received by the church to its membership.
Rev. Sam. Ware was settled October 31, 1810. During his pastorate of fifteen years. 199 united with the church. In 1826, the closing year of his labors in town, the East Congregational church was organized.
Rev. Augustus B. Reed—installed July 19, 1826—was called to his reward in 1838. During the twelve years of his ministry, 129 were added to the church.
Rev. Hervey Smith—installed September 18, 1838—was dismissed after a pastorate of about two years, in which time the church received an accession of 24.
Rev. Wm. E. Dixon-—ordained January 14, 1841—was dismissed May 26, 1842. During his connection with the church, 5 were received to membership.
Rev. David N. Coburn—ordained September 21, 1842— was dismissed April 17, 1854. There were 83 added to the church while he was its pastor.
Rev. Seth W. Banister—installed May 23, 1855—was dismissed June 1,1857. The church received 15 during his pastorate.
Rev. Ariel P. Chute—installed September 22, 1857—was dismissed May 21, 1861. The number added during his ministry was 21.
Rev. Wm. G. Tuttle was installed October 10, 1861. From that time until January 1, 1869, 72 were added to the church.
1. "Historical Sketch", Confession of Faith, Covenant and Rules, of the First Congregational Church in Ware, R. L. Hathaway, Printer, 1869, Pages 3-4.
See AlsoWare First Congregational Church 1869 Manual
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