We are proud of our long and rich heritage as a church, a legacy which began on June 17, 1726, when a group of forty-eight men founded the “East Parish” of Bradford. They organized as a church on June 27 of the following year and “admitted” fifty-three women a month later.
The congregation began worshiping in their new meetinghouse near what is now 235 Main Street. The present edifice, which originally faced Main Street from the common now known as Perry Park, was completed in 1790 and dedicated August 9, 1791.
The bell, the eleventh cast by patriot Paul Revere in 1795, is the oldest Revere bell in continuous service. It summons worshippers each Sunday, peals on historic occasions and, in concert with the clock installed in 1883, strikes the hour. In 1849, the building was moved to its current location and extensive renovations were made to the portico and windows. Subsequent changes have been made to the interior over two centuries, most significantly in 1908 when the present organ and pews were installed. The addition which houses the Fellowship Hall, offices and classrooms, was completed in 1961.
Remarkably, only three ministers, the Reverends William Balch, Ebenezer Dutch and Gardner B. Perry, served during the first 130 years. The latter built the adjacent brick parsonage as his home, which his descendants’ bequeathed to the church in 1912. Since 1859, thirty additional individuals, some ad interim, have served as pastor for various periods of time.
Incorporated in 1889 as “The Orthodox Congregational Church of Christ” in Groveland, Massachusetts,” its name clearly states the roots of its theology and polity. In 1961 our church became a member of the United Church of Christ. The denomination had its beginning in 1957 as a result of a series of mergers between four similar Protestant traditions. While proud of our past, we embrace the opportunities of the present and hold great hope for our future.