Our History

Explore our centuries-long history.

Years we've been around

The First Hundred Years

1690: Meeting House at Woodstock Hill established, site of current First Congregational Church

1760: Congregation split and formed the “Northern Parish.” The meeting house was located on what is now the East Woodstock common.

C. 1798:  Brick school house constructed as local one-room school house, under church supervision.  Upper hall used for winter church services and mid-week meetings through the early 20th century.

The Nineteenth Century

1831:  A burgeoning congregation and years of dispute over the placement of a larger meeting house culminated in a destructive church fire.  The result was two new meetinghouses constructed on the current locations of the East Woodstock and North Woodstock Congregational Churches.

1834 – Dedication of the East Woodstock Congregational Church.

1890s – Bandstand erected on common.

1897:  Chapel erected in memory of Halsey Bixby, church member and Amherst college student who died of scarlet fever. This area is now used as the church offices and choir rehearsal space.

Number of Meeting Houses

Hours the Great Hurricane of 1938 pounded New England

The New Century

1927: Frazee Organ installed in sanctuary.

1938: Hurricane caused the steeple to fall into the sanctuary, destroying the roof and the west side of the church. Amazingly, our Frazee Organ was spared. This miracle provided the inspiration for the congregation to rebuild the sanctuary on its existing structure. .  Church services are held in former Methodist church on east side of common.

1939:  EWCC repairs are completed, except for the steeple. Church services return to the meeting house.    

1950: Woodstock builds a single community-wide grade school, ending the one-room school house era.  Brick school house is returned to church.

1957: First Fourth of July Jamboree sponsored by the church on the East Woodstock common.

1958: Fellowship Hall was constructed to connect the sanctuary and the brick schoolhouse, providing a spacious community hall as well as space for our kitchen and Sunday School classrooms.

1961: The congregation voted to become part of the United Church of Church, a denomination formed in 1957 by the merging of the Congregational Christian and Evangelical and Reformed denominations.

1966:  The steeple was rebuilt with a new fiberglass steeple installed atop the sanctuary.

1987: Completion and Dedication of the bandstand on the East Woodstock Common.

1997: Dedication of the Sunday School wing, built on north side of sanctuary and west side of Fellowship Hall.

2002: Pipes of the Frazee Organ renovated.

2013-6: Capital Campaign raised funds to paint sanctuary and parsonage exteriors, replace the windows in the sanctuary and chapel, refurbish the Frazee organ console, complete a welcoming, handicapped-accessible entryway to our Fellowship Hall and establish a youth scholarship fund for wider-church camps and activities.