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The History of the Original Congregational Church of Wrentham - part 6

Compiled by

Minnie Douglas Bennett

for the occasion of the 125th Anniversary of the building of the present meetinghouse


Revisions and Additions by

Bruce J. Crowther

Richard J. Ross

Earle T. Stewart

For the celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Church



This post is part of The History of the Original Congregational Church of Wrentham series. Previous posts can be found here.

Part 6.

The present Church edifice, the fourth and by far the most imposing in the history of the parish, was built and dedicated in 1834-only 35 years after the membership had been reduced to but a paltry ten members. The timbers were brought from Boston by Elijah Willard. When dedicated it had picturesque galleries on both sides and at the rear of the white-painted sanctuary. Each pew had a gate-type door, the enclosed high pulpit had a vivid crimson curtain for a back-drop, and the organ and choir were located in the rear gallery. While it would seem that this beautiful and quite massive House of God, with its towering steeple

and charming interior, might have been a burdensome luxury, the total cost was only $9,315.67. The money was raised, in the main, by selling $5000 worth of 6% stock and realizing $3,715.83 from the sale of Church property. The issuance of stock proved to be a stroke of shrewd financing for in 1851 a number of persons holding collectively shares amounting to $2,500.00, declined their redemption, turning in their stock certificates to the Church. When the new church was completed, to further defray building costs family pews were sold at auction to the highest bidder. Unsold pews could be and were rented for many years. Since Mr. Fisk conducted the service of dedication, September 24, 1834, this building has become a heritage of increasing value to the residents of Wrentham, and an intriguing and beautiful landmark for those who visit.

In 1843, at the request of Mr. Fisk, a young assistant pastor by the name of Horace James was called and ordained. Now the Church could boast of having "Elisha the Prophet and James the Apostle,"