Charlemont — The Congregational Church Of Christ In East Charlemont

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      This body was organized Aug. 6, 1845, with 43 members, nearly all of whom had withdrawn from the old church for this purpose. The first meetings were held in the school-house, and the Rev. Nathaniel A. Keys supplied the church with preaching. He had previously been a missionary to Syria. In 1847 the church erected its present meeting-house, whose attractiveness and exterior appearance are equal to the average country churches in this part of the State, and has since occupied it for public worship. On the 17th of March, that year, the Rev. Moses H. Wilder was installed the first pastor, and continued that relation until Oct. 3, 1848. He was a native of Winchendon, Mass., and was licensed to preach in Indiana in 1831. For a number of years he was a successful missionary of the Home Society, and labored as an agent of various benevolent associations.
      After a vacancy of a little more than a year, the Rev. Aaron Foster was installed the second pastor, Feb. 13, 1850, and was dismissed March 19, 1870, on account of ill health. He was born in Hillsboro', N. H., March 19, 1794, and reared according to the practices of the Friends. In 1822 he graduated at Dartmouth, finished his studies at Andover in 1825, and was ordained an evangelist in that year. After laboring in the South as a missionary, and in the North as a pastor, he became the agent of the American Peace Society in 1844, and in 1851 was a delegate to the World's Peace Convention in London. In 1853 he was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, and subsequently held other public trusts, discharging their duties with marked ability.
      His pastorate was very successful, and under his ministration the church greatly prospered.
      In 1870 the church was supplied for six months by the Rev. Thomas Smith, and four months by the Rev. Daniel Savage.
      In the spring of 1871 the Rev. Elijah Cutler became connected with the church as a supply, and served in that connection until 1873. In May, 1873, the Rev. Wellington Newell received a call to the pastorate, and Sept. 3d, of the same year, was installed. He filled the pastoral office until Sept. 18, 1877, and since that period Rev. L. C. Guild has supplied this church in connection with the one in Buckland.
      The deacons of the church have been Sylvester Maxwell and Eli Smead, elected Aug. 29, 1845; Zenos L. Parker, Phineas Field, L. Rice, R. H. Leavitt, Levi Smith, George Hillman, David Avery, and Edward H. Leavitt.
      A Sunday-school of 40 members is maintained. In 1878, Emery F. Packard was the superintendent.
      The following Congregational ministers, with one exception, were born in Charlemont: the Rev. James Ballard, who was born in town in 1805, graduated at Williams in 1827, and, after being a teacher ten years, studied theology, and was licensed to preach in 1837. After a number of years of ministerial labor he settled at Grand Rapids, Mich., and again engaged in teaching.
      Rev. Roswell Hawks was born in Charlemont in 1788, graduated at Williams in 1811, and was ordained to the ministry in 1815.
      Rev. Theron M. Hawks was born Oct. 24, 1821, graduated at Williams in 1844, and finished his studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, afterward becoming a teacher there.
      Rev. Lemuel Leonard was born in town Nov. 23, 1812, was at Amherst from 1830-32, and was licensed to preach in 1838.
      Rev. Daniel Rice was born in Conway, Oct. 13, 1816, but his parents removed to Charlemont in 1818, and he lived there till manhood. He graduated at Amherst in 1837, and finished his theological studies at Lane, Ohio, in 1842.

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15 Jul 2005