First Church Windsor

Sunday Worship 10:00 AM – Worship Service / Faith Quest for children.

107 Palisado Avenue , Windsor , CT 06095
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(860) 688-7229

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The United Church of Christ

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History

Additional References and Resources | List of Ministers from 1630 to Present

First Church in Windsor, Connecticut celebrated the 375th anniversary of its founding in 2005. It is the oldest Congregational Church in Connecticut and, we understand, the fourth oldest Congregational Church in the world. This is our church now, and at times, it is good to reflect upon those generations of men and women who weathered the storms of conflict and change and managed to keep our church’s spirit alive through the years.

Life in early New England required courage, determination and a belief in the future. A strict observance of the Sabbath, plus a large dose of parental discipline, built strong and noble character. Couple that with an unwavering faith in the Lord and a bit of Yankee ingenuity, and one begins to understand what made and sustained our early church fathers and mothers.

Each new generation could build its future on this rich inheritance from the past. This tradition is why First Church is alive and well today. First Church traces its beginnings back to 1630 in Plymouth, England where 140 men and women placed their trust in the Lord and their leadership and set sail on The Mary & John, the first of 17 ships–the so-called Winthrop Fleet– bound for the colony of Massachusetts. They were a well educated and well-to-do group, many being dignified with the title of “Mister” which few in those days were. These Puritans had strong religious convictions and were willing to endure deprivation and danger for conscience sake. “To put on the full armor of God” were not simply words to these men and women.

The Plymouth Trading Company established the first Connecticut settlement at Windsor in 1633. Word soon spread that Windsor was a good place to settle: the land was fertile, the fur trade brisk and the Indians reasonably friendly and tolerant of the Christian gospel. Thus it was in 1635 that the First Church congregation ventured forth from their homes in Dorchester (Massachusetts) to answer the beckoning call of a new life in Connecticut.

Massachusetts Governor Bradford captured the spirit of these adventurers best when he wrote, “Hearing of the fame of the Connecticut River, they had a hankering mind after it.” And lest anyone doubt the fortitude of the womenfolk in those days, be it known that it was a Rachel Stiles who “pushed ahead and was the first of the bold settlers to set her foot upon the soil of Windsor.”

That the Windsor colony succeeded was due in no small part to its minister, the Rev. John Warham, whose greatest gift to his congregation was his faith. Called “the principal pillar and father of the colony” by Cotton Mather, Mr. Warham must have been an extremely resourceful man, for it is recorded that he preached 24 sermons on one text alone: Psalms 94: 4-6.

He minced no words when it came to battling the scourge of witchcraft in the Windsor community. It seems one Lydia Gilbert, who was known to often violate her Christian obligation of charitable and peaceable behavior, was suddenly accused, in 1654, of a militiaman’s death, which had occurred three years earlier. Clearly, it had been her dark powers, which caused a musket to accidentally fire and mortally wound him. The court decided that it was indeed the devil’s work and ordered her hanged. The following Sunday, Pastor Warham arose to warn of a chastising God and exhorted his parishioners: “You have strayed from the paths of virtue, tippling in alehouses … night walking, and worst of all engaging one another in repeated strife.”

Besides ministering to his congregation, Mr. Warham owned and operated the first gristmill in Connecticut. Having a gristmill in your community at that time would have been a real boon to the ladies of Windsor who, in all probability, had to provide large supplies of bread to feed the troops during the Pequot Indian Wars.

In those early years, the town was the church and the church was the town. Both a pastor and a teacher administered to the church community—the pastor “to exhort, persuade and sympathize with his people and to administer a word of wisdom.” The teacher’s role was to “teach, explain and defend the doctrines of Christianity and therein to administer a word of knowledge.” That was a tall order, but it was a successful enough combination to enlighten and inspire Roger Ludlow, a member of Warham’s congregation, to author Connecticut’s first constitution.

While Mr. Warham was administering his words of wisdom, it fell to Ephraim Huit, the teacher, to administer words of knowledge about how to build a meetinghouse. This square building stood in the middle of the Palisado Green, and was enclosed in a stockade (palisado), as protection against Indians, wolves and other such intruders. It was covered with a thatched roof, with a cupola in the center; a platform was later added to the cupola for the convenience of the man who beat the drums to warn residents of impending Sunday services—and perhaps threats of attack.

A quick reading of the inscription on any early New England gravestone, and you know exactly how the deceased was regarded by his family and friends. Mr. Huit’s tabled tombstone, erected in 1644 in the Old Burying Ground of Windsor (Palisado Cemetery) and reputed to be the oldest original monument still standing in the State of Connecticut, reads:

Who when hee lived wee drew our vitall breath,
Who when hee dyed his dying was our death,
Who was ye stay of State, Ye Churches Staff,
Alas the times forbid an Epitaph

During the first two centuries, the only pastor who did not die among his congregation was Nathaniel Chauncey. A scholar and an intellectual, he arrived during the waning years of Mr. Warham’s 40-year ministry and was definitely not held in equal esteem by all of the congregation. His detractors went so far as to request the legislature to allow a pastor by the name of Benjamin Woodbridge to “keep a lecture at Windsor once a fortnight on the fourth day of the week—but not on the Sabbath without liberty from Mr. Warham.”

A church court, set up to settle the festering debate, ultimately recommended forming two churches. In 1669, Mr. Woodbridge was ordained over the new church as minister of the Presbyterian Party of Windsor (an off-shoot of our congregation), and the Town House–the place where community business was transacted–was fitted up as their place of worship. However, it is not hard to guess which group prevailed as the established church when it is noted that no repairs were ever made to the Town House, only to the meetinghouse where the First Church congregation held services.

There were several attempts at reconciliation during the next 10 years, but it appears that the First Church congregation would take the others back only on unconditional surrender. It remained for Samuel Mather, cousin of Cotton Mather, to accomplish this reconciliation. In its wisdom, First Church left “the pursuance of the union of the two societies until such time as he [Mather] is present among us and can effect our union.” Moreover, in a humble and pragmatic gesture, the congregation pledged “to wait until God shall help us to see reason to concur with him, and in the meantime, not to make any disturbance or occasion any trouble…”

That must have been the right decision, for it is recorded in Stiles’ History of Ancient Windsor that during Mr. Mather’s ministry [1684-1728] “not a shadow of complaint seemed to have darkened his or their pathways.” In fact, Mather penned the following addendum to the membership roll at the end of his first year: “The Lord make the next year also a good year.” However, by the end of the fourth year a more contrite Mr. Mather recorded: “Not as much as one added to the Church, but as many died out of it as were added the year before. The Good Lord awaken and humble us.” The Lord must have heard Mr. Mather’s plea, for membership did double by 1684 so that it was necessary to build a new meetinghouse for the “more comfortable carrying on of the worship of God.”

The Rev. Jonathan Marsh joined Mr. Mather in 1709 to help minister to an increasing number of parishioners. Mr. Marsh very quickly became known for his verbosity. In fact, it is reputed that when the hourglass with which he timed his sermons ran out, he simply turned it over and began the hour anew. He certainly must have imparted some pearls of wisdom about Christian charity in these lengthy sermons, for upon his death the church paid his heirs the balance of his salary for that year!

By 1711 the state had established a separate ecclesiastical society in each Connecticut town “giving unto its hands all powers relative to ecclesiastical affairs, the care of the burying ground, the maintenance of the schools and the upbringing of the children.” In Windsor, that was First Church. No wonder our spiritual forbears prayed faithfully to God for strength to run the course that was set before them.

Near the end of the 18th century, care of local cemeteries and public education was transferred to the newly organized First School Society; in time education became the province of Windsor community government, but First School Society still administers the Palisado and Riverside cemeteries.

In the 1730s a new-fangled method of singing called “Singing by Rule,” devised by a certain Mr. Beal, was sweeping the country. Windsor was no exception. It seems that by the beginning of the 18th century music had been so neglected that most congregations could sing only four or five tunes. According to the Rev. Thomas Walter, a prime mover to reform church singing, these tunes had become so mutilated that psalm singing had become a “mere disorderly noise, left to the mercy of every unskilled throat to chop and alter, twist and change—so hideous as to be bad beyond expression and so drawling that sometimes one had to pause twice on one word to take a breath.” Beal’s suggestion that music ought to be sung by notes prompted a dubious writer in the New England Chronicle to remark that “once we begin to sing by note, the next thing will be to pray by rule, and then comes Popery.”

First Church survived the controversy by a bit of compromising: opting to sing one-half the day in the old way and the other half in the new way.

The congregation had just gotten the singing matter settled when another thorny problem surfaced. It appears that some folks were complaining the meetinghouse was not located in such an auspicious place after all. The rule of thumb always had been to take the sum of the distances from each dwelling in the parish and then to find the common center. The propriety of that method was now being questioned in light of the fact that the Farmington River, which physically separated the congregation, had a tendency to be rather testy at flood times. Getting to church then could prove to be a small miracle. So in 1754, when fire leveled the second meetinghouse, parishioners summoned up a bit of Yankee ingenuity and declared they would build two meetinghouses: one on either side of the river. The Rev. William Russell, and later the Rev. David Rowland, ministered to the First Ecclesiastical Society on the south side of the river, and the Rev. Theodore Hinsdale ministered to the dissidents on the north side.

So it was until 1792 when Mr. Hinsdale was offered 300 pounds to make himself scarce so that Henry Rowland (David’s son) could become minister of a united congregation. Two years later the present meetinghouse was erected on the north side of the river and a covered bridge built spanning the river to accommodate the comings and goings of parishioners from the south end of town.

And just so no one could claim favoritism, the school was built on the south side of the river shortly thereafter. The Ecclesiastical Society of Windsor took it over with the understanding that they could “exclude any scholar who shall not carry his share of wood for use of the said school,” and further, “if any scholar should do anything to the schoolhouse, he shall make it good or be excluded from said school after a reasonable time being allowed for the damage to be made good.” Tough rules, but intended to build strong character early in life! The First School Society would take over in another four years, but there’s no evidence that matters changed for its students.

Something of a membership lull descended over First Church during the Revolutionary War and for several years after. The only members to join the church during this entire period were five women. Nothing much was recorded about the church’s part in the War, this despite the fact that Pastor David Rowland was a zealous defender of colonial liberties. He had come to First Church by way of Providence, being forced to flee his pulpit there because of his inflammatory exhortations on freedom and taxation.

We can only speculate about the apparent lack of written Church history during this important period of our country’s growth. Perhaps because women were not entrusted with running the church, little, if anything, of significance occurred while the men were off warring and writing constitutions. On the other hand, maybe it just was not prudent to write down very much at this time, for one might want to hedge one’s bets later on.

Prior to 1800 the only bell in town hung in the schoolhouse. It was a special day indeed when Henry Allyn, Esq. gifted the Church with a bell of its own. Upon his death, and out of respect to Mr. Allyn, the congregation voted to toll the bell at the setting of the sun on the 8th day of May each year. One assumes this was in addition to its use on Sunday and for other such purposes as might be voted. And this also would have been in addition to the school bell clanging its call to young scholars each morning of the school year. The incessant bell ringing must have finally offended one-too-many ears, for the record shows that “friends consented to and probably desired its discontinuance.”

Practical and honest were these people. They were practical when it came to money matters also, as it was not until 1822, after some disputation, that the Society finally allowed itself the luxury of buying two wood stoves for the meetinghouse. (It is hard to hear the Lord’s word when your feet are cold.)

For some untold reason, a number of First Church ministers were dismissed by the congregation in the ensuing years. Perhaps it had something to do with rising salaries and rising expectations. By 1861 the minister’s salary had jumped to $725 a year with three Sundays off—up from 60 pounds a year and 35 cords of wood in the late 1700s.

Major changes in the meetinghouse were undertaken in 1844, 50 years after its construction. A Greek-Revival portico replaced the tower with its tall steeple, box pews were removed and today’s “slips” substituted. The high pulpit and stairs were taken out and the present pulpit installed. A Sunday School room was built at the rear of the meetinghouse in 1890; it now serves as rehearsal space for the church choirs.

And it was in 1890 that First Church proudly recorded in its annals that it was “without debt; its edifice in good repair; (owned) a parsonage valued at $2500; (maintained) a fund of $9000 for the support of the ministry and a fund of $3500 for insurance and repairs on the organ and contributed up to $1000 annually to benevolent causes outside of its own field.” This was certainly a far cry from its modest beginnings on a wooden boat 260 years earlier.

The Rev. Roscoe Nelson led First Church into the 20th century. His pastorate spanned 40 years during which time he baptized 370 babies, officiated at 288 marriages and 615 funerals and personally received 740 members into the congregation.

With his encouragement, the First Church Women’s Club was launched in 1911 to “promote the spirit of Christian fellowship and helpfulness in the parish and to support the general welfare of First Church.” Over time, the Women’s Club has sponsored fairs, home tours, fashion shows and luncheons to raise money for such things as First Church Early Learning Center scholarships, equipping the parish house kitchen, carpeting the library, decorating and furnishing the Morrell Room and providing pew cushions for the sanctuary. It was the Club’s Evening Bridge Group that founded the First Church Nursery School (now called the First Church Early Learning Center) in 1956. Today the Club remains very heavily involved in the life of our church and community. Donating handmade baby blankets to Covenant to Care each time a child is baptized in church, hats and mittens to Windsor Family Services/Head Start and preemie hats to the Children’s Medical Center at Hartford Hospital; preparing and serving food at funeral receptions; subsidizing church-sponsored youth trips; and supporting the Fidelco Guide Dogs and the Windsor Fuel Bank are but a few of their significant contributions.

Mr. Nelson had the foresight to understand the sense of mission that the Women’s Club would bring to First Church. At the same time, he also recognized other needs in the Church’s wider community. He organized the Windsor branch of the American Red Cross and acted as president of the Windsor Library Association for many years. It was during his pastorate that First Church celebrated its Tercentenary in 1930 with a pageant, “Pathways to the Light.” About 150 of the participants were descended from men and women who either came over on The Mary and John or who were early settlers of Windsor; they played the part of their ancestors.

Today, many new members of First Church tell us that one of the main reasons they joined First Church is because we are a socially conscious congregation, actively involved in outreach to others. Early stirrings of that concern for others really began to take root in the 1940s during the pastorate of the Rev. Theodore Frank when the Church’s concern for the migrant tobacco workers and the youngsters employed in the textile industry led to the establishment of a Family Service Agency in Windsor. And in the aftermath of World War II, the Church’s social concern led to the sponsorship of a refugee family, Emma and Werner Muck and their three children from East Germany, who for many years occupied the second floor of the Pierson House and provided custodial services for the Meetinghouse and the Parish House.

In the 1950s Windsor experienced a burst of population growth. The suburbs were the place to live; no problems there, or so went conventional wisdom. However, society was becoming more secular. Family ties were loosened as new people moved here from distant lands, as well as from the inner city to seek improved housing and employment. First Church even acquired additional property in 1953 –- the neighboring Pierson and Russell houses — and in 1955 broke ground for a new Parish House.

In response to this continuing in-migration, the Rev. Hollis Huston, minister from 1959-67, urged the congregation not to ignore its responsibility to our new neighbors but rather “to seek out, welcome and accept into its fellowship the new members of the Windsor community.”

First Church, in 1961, voted to become a member congregation of the recently formed United Church of Christ, a merger, in 1957, of the Congregational and Evangelical & Reformed churches. The next step was in its own backyard: In 1963 the First Church Council passed a resolution stating that membership in First Church was open to all without restrictions of race or ethnic origin. That year 80 new members joined the Church, bringing the membership to 1,005; 77% of that number had been members less than 15 years, and half of them had been members for less than five years.

The Rev. Craig Whitsett was called as a part-time associate minister to serve the needs of this growing congregation. At the same time, the Board of World Service spearheaded and organized the Interfaith Community Forum in Windsor, which later became the Human Relations Council; in turn, the Council helped organize the Festival of Christian Brotherhood and made the connection for First Church members to resettle the Monserrat family in the Hartford area following its flight from Castro’s Cuba.

The decade of the 60s marked a watershed of sorts for First Church as the times became more turbulent. First Church began to manifest a stronger social consciousness as it made the voice of the Church heard in a meaningful way. The Civil Rights movement was growing stronger, Hartford neighborhoods were in flames, the Vietnam War was dividing the country, the community and the Church. Drug use, with its motto of “drop in and tune out,” was invading even suburbia. From the pulpit, Dr. Huston was asking, “What does it mean to be a Christian in suburban Windsor today? Do we minister only to ourselves or do we become a fellowship with a mission?”

It was not without struggle and tension that the congregation made the transition from one ministering to its own and sending money to far-away places, to a spiritual community that was also seeking to effect social justice at home. Turning the suburbs’ attention to the inner city was a whole new thought for many churches–including First Church. With that mission came a commitment to reach out and make a difference.

The Christian Activities Council in Hartford, whose focus was on education, day-care centers, affordable housing, social services, recreation and community action, became a vehicle to make a difference for First Church and for many other churches who were beginning to feel the strength of an ecumenical effort. And in Windsor, the Freddie Chartier School of Religious Education was established at First Church as a memorial to the son of Lucille and Edmund Chartier. Here young people with special needs and of all faiths gathered weekly for religious and social communion.

Dr. Huston resigned in 1967 to take a position as Visiting Lecturer in New Testament at The Hartford Seminary, and Associate Minister Howard Champe filled the pulpit. With the arrival of the Rev. F. Van Gorder Parker (known to everyone as Van) came more hands-on involvement with the Farm Workers’ Ministry in Windsor, the Saturday morning program for ghetto youngsters at the Robert Mack Center in Hartford, the Inner City Summer School where youngsters from Hartford played and learned with youngsters from Windsor during the summers of 1968-70, and the raising of $18,000 in three-year pledges for the 17/76 Achievement Fund to help southern Black colleges founded by Congregationalists after the Civil War.

In 1972 the Church Cabinet voted to increase the outreach budget by 1% each year over the coming decade. That allowed First Church to more actively support the Connecticut Prison Association, Mack Center programs and the Archer Memorial AME Zion building fund. Members testified before the Town Council to establish WILA (Windsor Independent Living Association) House and then went on to decorate and furnish one of the rooms. Interval House, the home for unwed mothers in Windsor, was another place where we helped, both with funding and personal involvement. And 1976 was the year that the Church School got actively involved with the Heifer Project.

(A note about the 70s: 1975 was the first year that women used their first names in the Church Annual Reports, and in 1976 the Board of World Service changed its name to the Board of Christian Outreach.)

The 1980s dawned with new challenges: In the inner city the number of street people was increasing and the need for food and shelter for them was soaring. Violence was on the rise in many corners of the world: Northern Ireland, Nicaragua and South Africa most notably. These concerns, at home and away, prompted members of First Church, in 1984, to commit at least 20% of its total budget for Christian outreach beginning in 1985. Peace and justice issues were much reflected in that action.

For two summers, in the early 80’s, First Church, in partnership with St. Gabriel’s Church, participated in the Ulster Project, where Protestant and Catholic young people from Northern Ireland came to live with families in Windsor. Here they could get to know each other in a non-violent atmosphere and go home with a better understanding of one another. First Church joined in a sister city relationship with Ocotal, Nicaragua, offering medical help and moral support as the Sandinistas battled the government for control.

We became a Plowshares Church, thinking globally and acting locally as we developed a covenant relationship with a church in South Africa and relocated the Liddell family, whose mother had been imprisoned for speaking out on apartheid issues, to Windsor. We helped the Kozhenevskys, a Ukrainian family, get resettled in Windsor and get jobs.

Locally, we strengthened our ties with Hartford. We joined hands with Covenant to Care to assist a social worker minister to needy families, and we continued our close relationship with the Horace Bushnell Church and its food pantry. First Church hired the Rev. John Gregory-Davis as Outreach Minister whose primary focus was the Immaculate Conception Shelter in Hartford.

The 80s were also a time for First Church to look to its own. Shortly after the Rev. Bill Warner-Prouty joined us as associate minister in 1980, we instituted a Spiritual Life Center, where JoAnn Taylor served as Spiritual Director for more than 10 years; we appointed Youth Deacons; we brought tapes of the Sunday morning services to local nursing homes and had them broadcast on station WJMJ-FM so that shut-ins need not miss the Sunday morning service; our Meals and Transportation Committee came into being to serve those members who needed a helping hand or two.

In 1987, the Capitol Area Conference of Churches presented us with a plaque which read: The congregation has demonstrated an openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit which is leading them to an openness to each other and an openness to the pain and promise of God’s world.

This was a prophetic statement as First Church entered the 90s. The decade began with a capital fund drive, 95% of which would be for Church use and 5% for Habitat for Humanity. Major renovations were made to the Meetinghouse and Pierson House; the Parker Room was added; the choir room was renovated, and the parking lot was expanded. The human side of “needs” was also examined by the congregation, resulting in a monthly healing service and an expanding Pastoral Care Team trained by the chaplaincy staff at Hartford Hospital. With our contribution to the Christian Activities Council we helped fund Adventures in the City, a summer educational program for inner-city elementary children. Our commitment to the Immaculate Conception Shelter grew, as did our involvement in Latinos/as Contra Sida. And The Gathering Place, a restaurant, meeting place, bookstore and ecumenical chapel in Hartford, was born, with our support.

Perhaps the strongest “need” which the congregation examined during this time turned out to be the study, development and adoption, in 1994, of an Open and Affirming Statement, which welcomed all people to First Church without regard to their race, nationality, age, marital status or sexual orientation.

The 90s also saw the formation of our bell choir; new hymnals, with inclusive language, were purchased; our Senior Choir, under the direction of Francis Angelo, was invited to sing at the Salzburg (Austria) Church Music Festival and the World Music Festival (Sydney, Australia); and our young people presented a marvelous production of Godspell. First Church Nursery School (now the First Church Early Learning Center) became the first such UCC Church organization in the nation to be accredited by the Ecumenical Childcare Network; and three of our campus buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bill Warner-Prouty, who would be remembered for significantly including our young people in the life of First Church and the Windsor community, left us to teach school in 1993, and the Rev. Donna Papenhausen, the Church’s first woman associate minister, was called to succeed him.

While many of these activities were transpiring, author Gary Dorsey became a familiar visitor among us for about 18 months while he got to know who and what we were and how we thought and operated. His book, published in 1995, was called Congregation: A Journey Back to Church. It reflected much of his own spiritual journey as he discovered the ways in which First Church sought to carry out its mission in what he saw as an often-uncaring world.

Van Parker retired from our midst in 1995, having led First Church for 27 years as we sought to clarify and witness to our mission in the world. He and his wife, Lucille, will be remembered for their humanness, their warmth, their understanding, and for their ability to shepherd a sometimes unruly flock. It took us two years to find Van’s successor. The interim period was divided between the Rev. Robert Livingston and the Rev. Ken Taylor.

The Rev. Richard Hanna Huleatt (Rick) joined us as Senior Pastor in 1997. Shortly thereafter, Donna Papenhausen left to lead a church in Florida, and we welcomed the Rev. Mary Angela Davis as Associate Minister. (She would resign in 2007 to join her husband, the Rev. Nicholas Davis, at his new assignment in Maine.)

Soon after Rick’s arrival, First Church joined in a spiritual partnership with the Ha-San-Woon Presbyterian Church in South Korea. At home, some 60 church members became Book Buddies to kindergarten youngsters from the Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford. Parish Caring Ministries, an outgrowth of the 40-year-old Visitation Committee, came into its own, involving more than 180 members of our congregation tending to the needs of their fellow brothers and sisters.

The new millennium has seen a Long-Range Planning Committee at work looking at the spiritual mission of our Church as it relates to worship, music, youth and the attraction of new members. A significant number of our members are involved with the Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice. Our young people and adults have participated in a number of Habitat-for-Humanity projects, both local and regional, as well as several home-repair mission trips in the name of the Appalachia Service Project. Our Open and Affirming Committee helps plan town-wide Conversations on Race and supports the Gay/Straight Alliance at Windsor High School. We remain deeply involved with the Christian Activities Council, Covenant to Care, the Freddie Chartier School, Immaculate Conception Shelter, My Sister’s Place, the South Park Inn, Interval House, the Windsor Fuel Bank and the Windsor Food Bank.

We are now well into the 21st century. As Rick reminded us not so long ago when he paraphrased a thought from Loren Meade’s book, Transforming Congregations: “The role of the church is to help its members discover their gifts and use them in response to the needs of a troubled world.” The disappointments and the triumphs which our forebears shared helped them discover the strength and spirit to prevail and care. Their example is the sustaining power that continues to link generation to generation, a gift of the past to us in today’s world.

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References and Resources

“Ministers of the First Church in Windsor” a book chronicling the ministers of the church back to the original founder, John Maverick is available for purchase through our church office.  The book is $10 and postage is $3.  Please contact our office for details regarding purchase and delivery.

The History of Ancient Windsor, Henry R. Stiles (1892)

Historical Sketches, Jabez H. Hayden (1900)

Dorset Pilgrims, Frank Thistlethwaite (1993)

Glimpses of Ancient Windsor, Daniel Howard (1993)

Highlights of History of the First Church in Windsor, complied by Florence Mills, Bruce Whyte, Maureen Sullivan (1995)

The First Church in Windsor Annual Reports (1959 to date)

First Congregational Church, Windsor, Connecticut (1880)

The First Church of Christ, 275th Anniversary (1905)

Tercentenary First Church, Windsor, Connecticut (1930)

350th Commemorative Year Book (1980)

 

Past and Present Ministers

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1630-1670 John Warham

1630-1636 John Maverick

1639-1644 Ephriam Huit

1667-1680 Nathaniel Chauncey

1668-1681 Benjamin Woodbridge

1684-1728 Samuel Mather

1709-1747 Jonathan Marsh

1751-1775 William Russell

1766-1794 Theodore Hinsdale

1776-1794 David S. Rowland

1790-1835 Henry A. Rowland

1836-1837 Charles A. Walker

1839-1843 Spofford D. Jewett

1845-1859 Theodore A. Leete

1861-1865 Benjamin Parsons

1866-1891 Gowen C. Wilson

1892-1932 Roscoe Nelson

1932-1942 Theodore E. Frank

1943-1947 Joseph H. Twichell

1948-1958 Herbert B. Morrell

1958-1967 Hollis H. Huston

1963-1966 Craig Whitsitt (A)

1966-1970 Howard Champe (A)

1967-1967 Richard P Carter (I)

1968-1995 F. Van Gorder Parker

1970-1979 John W. Day (A)

1980-1993 William Warner-Prouty (A)

1989-1995 John Gregory Davis (O)

1994-1998 Donna L. Papenhausen (A)

1995-1996 Robert L. Livingston (I)

1996-1997 Kenneth Taylor (I)

1997-          Richard Hanna Huleatt

1999-2007 Mary Angela F. Davis (A)

2007-          Sara Jane Munshower (I)

(A) Associate (I) Interim (O) Outreach

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First Church Windsor

(860) 688-7229