|The First Church of West Bridgewater was first gathered
by Separatist Pilgrims from England in 1651. The
congregation probably gathered in homes for prayer
and Bible study until the first meeting house was built in
1661 (perhaps at the intersection of River and Arch Streets.)
A second meeting house was constructed in 1674 near the
present war memorial at the intersection of routes 28 and 106.
A third meeting house was built in 1731 on the same site.
The fourth was moved to the Howard Street site and was
constructed in 1801.
|The first preacher was Benjamin Bunker. He served from
1660-1661. The first Settled Minister was the Rev. James
Keith who served for 55 years until 1719. He came from
Scotland and had a Calvinistic background. (You can visit
the historically preserved church parsonage in which he
and his family lived on River Street in West Bridgewater.
You can also visit “Pulpit Rock” in West Bridgewater
Memorial Park to see where oral tradition says that he
preached his first sermon, from Jeremiah 1:6; “Behold,
I Cannot Speak for I Am a Child.”) In 1831, Harvard
graduate, the Rev. Mr. Richard Stone was called as Settled
Minister. He introduced Unitarian principles and religious
thinking to First Church. |
|Today, the doors of First Church at 29 Howard Street are still
open to all. Our mission is to serve the community of West
Bridgewater in the tradition of our liberal Protestant Congregational
(UCC) and Unitarian (UUA) foremothers and forefathers of faith. |