Years as a congregation
Age of Current Building
Length of services in the 18th Century (in hours)
The Puritans living in the area now known as Paxton, settled around 1748, were residents of either Leicester or Rutland. In order to attend worship services, they had to travel long distances, in constant fear of Indian attack, to the center of Rutland or Leicester. It was a lot like today, only today, we fight traffic and long lines at the local donut shop instead.
Well, after YEARS of petitioning His Majesty King George III’s Great and General Court, all of whom probably wore powdered wigs, the bill was finally passed, and Governor Francis Bernard signed the legislation on February 12, 1765, authorizing the Parish and District of Paxton, containing four square miles from equal portions of Rutland and Leicester (thanks Rutland and Leicester!!).
Because the basis for establishing the town of Paxton rested on a religious necessity (imagine that), organization became an urgent matter. The first warrant was issued on February 25, 1765, followed by the first town meeting, and, by April 1, approval for building a Meetinghouse was voted!! (and we assume it was approved because we have a church building today). It’s a good thing too, because a few years later, the King received a declaration that he wasn’t happy with, so he probably wasn’t going to listen to any petitions to approve anything for a while after that.
One and one-half acres of land were donated by Seth Snow (wow, thanks!), a portion of which became the Old Burial Ground. If you wish to donate today… please click here:
Silas Bigelow was called as the first settled minister on May 4, 1767, moving to Paxton from Concord and Shrewsbury. He helped in the establishment of the church and was much admired during his short ministry, dying in 1769 at only 30 years of age.
Worship services were held in nearby homes until September 3, 1767, when construction of the Meetinghouse was completed, on the Common, near where the flag pole now stands. You’d have to visit our Church to see it… it’s a nice flag pole. It served as both a religious and municipal center. (The church, not the flagpole).