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The History of the Original Congregational Church of Wrentham - part 9.

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 9.

In 1938 a fall hurricane lashed the community and crumbled the proud and stately church steeple. An emergency fund-raising drive was started by Mr. Shafer and complete reconstruction was effected within a twelve-month period, thanks to his zealous efforts.

Death came to Mr. Shafer on February 25, 1946, but this worthy churchman, with his righteous air of authority and dignity, will long be remembered for his valued contributions to both the Church and the Town of Wrentham. He was a master of rhetoric and the written word; and as a poet, editor, lecturer and historian, he was faithful both to earthly ties and the greater bond with God. His pastorate of 32 years suffered the burdens and deprivations of two World Wars and our country's worst economic depression; it also spanned the 225th, 235th and 250th anniversaries of the Church's founding, and the centennial of the present church edifice.

The fifteenth pastor, the Reverend Lionel A. Whiston, came to the Wrentham church on January 1, 1947, following along and eminent ministry at the Calvinistic Congregational Church, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Mr. Whiston is the son of a minister, a grandson and a great-grandson of lay preachers, and his sons Lionel, Jr. and William and grandson Charles, are ordained ministers. Mr. Whiston graduated from Lawrence College, Appleton, Wisconsin