The Congregational Church of New Sharon was organized February 9, 1801, on Cape Cod Hill, in the house of James Howes, Esq., the first framed house in town. According to the statement of Rev. J. T. Hawes at the funeral of James Howes, there were eight original members. Upon this occasion, Rev. Mr. Belden of Winthrop preached a sermon on the text " Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." The first church building, which was of wood, was destroyed by fire in 1843. The present brick structure was built immediately and dedicated the following year.
The records of the church prior to 1815 have been lost.
The earliest Covenant and Confession of Faith, according to the record, was adopted June 23, 1826. It contained nine articles, proved by reference to Scripture text. At a later time another Covenant and Confession superseded the first, although not differing materially from it.
It is said, under date of June 23, 1841, that the whole number of members then living was 99. In May, 1885, there were 101 members, according to a report given to the National Council.
The present vestry was bought of the Universalist Society in 1865.
The Parish was organized March 2, 1831. On Feb. 15, 1832, it was voted to purchase the real estate of Rev. Joseph Underwood, then pastor. The present parsonage, with some changes and additions, is the house bought at that time. The Parish holds its annual meeting the second Monday in December. Its officers are a Clerk, Treasurer, an Executive Committee of three, and such other officers as the Society may deem necessary. Their duties are as follows :
"It shall be the duty of the Clerk to keep a record of all the doings of this Society and give notice of its meetings."
"It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect and keep all moneys due the Society and hold all orders, receipts, etc., relating to the finance of this Society subject to the order of the Executive Committee."
"It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to have a general oversight of the affairs of this Society, to attend to the supply of the pulpit in the absence of a stated ministry, to have charge of the meeting-house and see that it is properly cared for, warmed and lighted, also to care for any other property belonging to this Society, to attend to all financial matters not otherwise provided for between this Society and the minister, and to attend to such other special duties as the Society may direct."
The Ladies' Guild was organized Nov. 13, 1891, its object being "the intellectual, material and social improvement of the Church and congregation." It has during its existence raised more than a thousand dollars which have been used in various ways for the good of the church. The Society has also been a great help along social lines.
For a number of years a Missionary and Literary Society was maintained among the ladies, and much was accomplished. It has now been merged in the Ladies' Guild.
The Christian Endeavor Society connected with the church had its birth May 6, 1891. There are now enrolled 52 active members.
1. "Historical Sketch", Principles and Regulations of the First Congregational Church, New Sharon, Maine, 1905, pages 3-4.
See AlsoNew Sharon First Congregation Church 1904 Manual