top of page

The History of the Original Congregational Church of Wrentham - part 7

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 7.

On February 1, 1863, the Reverend Charles L. Mills, from the Porter Evangelical Society in North Bridgewater, was installed as the eighth pastor of the Church. During his pastorate, the shortest in the Church's history, the benevolent causes recognized were the Foreign and Home Missionary Societies, organized under the leadership of Mrs. Mary Fales, and the Tract and Bible Societies. The ladies did sewing at the Missionary meetings until the "Ladies Sewing Circle" was formed in 1889. He left, in 1865, with the Ecclesiastical Council "happy to bear testimony to [his] unwearied and faithful labors."

The ninth Christian administrator, the Reverend William R. Tompkins, served the Church ably and loyally for a period of twenty-five years, from 1866 to his death in 1891. The son of a minister, he had pastor of the New England Church of Brooklyn, New York, for eight years before coming to Wrentham. His was a pastorate of change, construction and expansion for both the Church and the town. To "modernize" the sanctuary he effected such changes as lowering the end gallery, removing the side galleries and the high pulpit, and changing the pews and windows--a loss of the charming colonial motif that became a matter of deep regret in later years. A pipe organ was also installed