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First Congregational Church of Crown Point

The First Congregational Church of Crown Point was organized on September 10, 1804. A Vermont missionary named Benjamin Wooster gathered 16 people together originally. These first people were named Joshua Moss, Samuel Moss, Israel Branch, Dennis Meagher, Martha Wiswell, Robert Hopkins, Phoebe Hopkins, Ichabod Brooks, Sarah Brooks, Aaron Townsend, Phoebe Townsend, Moriah Wilcox, Mary Wilcox, Eleanor Morrow, Martha Moss, Abigail Moss and Eli Moffit.

The theology of this first group evolved from the beliefs of the Pilgrims. Early members were very concerned with propriety. The members policed each other in light of legal, as well as religious, doctrine. Charges could be brought against another member for such crimes as intemperance, profanity, neglect of the church, excessive frivolity and for lawlessness in minor forms. An accused member would called before the Congregational Society to explain themselves. The church then voted on the standing of the member and did, occasionally, remove a person from membership.

This core group met in various places around the town such as homes, schoolhouses and mills. No regular minister was engaged in the early years but there are records of ordained clergy for the congregation. In 1809, a Reverend Jones, ordained at Bridport, seems to have periodically served, he is listed in the writings of A.F. Gunnison as the first record of a minister. The congregation continued to grow at a slow but steady rate. In 1822, the first full time minister was employed. His name was Reverend Samuel Bradford who was ordained June 26, 1822 but he seems to have started in 1821.

In April of 1829 work began on the church building. Colonel Job L. Howe gave the land for the building, the cemetery and a large part of what is now the park. The brick church was completed in 1833 and dedicated on February 13, 1834. Interestingly, the church records during these years do not speak of the construction of the church. The building itself was considered a showpiece though and the members were very dedicated to it. For many years church pews were sold. A banker of the 19th century, Walter Wyman, reports making loans using the pews as collateral.

In July of 1883, the use of the Hammond Chapel was given to the First Congregational Society by General John Hammond and two of his sisters. It had been the residence of Charles F. Hammond after he built it in 1837. The upper portion of that house was fitted as a library. In 1885, the value of the church, the parsonage (both on Park Avenue) and the Hammond Chapel (on Creek Road) was $12,000.

In 1934 the church was rededicated and redecorated for the centennial celebration. The original chandeliers were re-wired and re-hung and the interior and exterior were painted. The platform and pulpit were duplicated and replaced with a careful eye to the original. All was done with donations totaling $1,100

The First Congregational Church of Crown Point continues to hold services at the brick church in the park. Each Sunday at 9:30 AM the bell peals out an invitation for residents and visitors alike to join them in worship. Many events are planned to celebrate the 200 years of their existence. While enjoying a long past, the church celebrates the future with their web site

Regional Information
- Crown Point Telephone History
- Crown Point History
- Penfield Homestead
- First Congregational Church of Crown Point

Area Histories
- Lake Champlain History
- The War of 1812
- Ticonderoga 1804 - 2004
- Schroon Lake 1804 - 2004
- Town of Moriah

Area Places of Interest
- Lake Champlain Bikeways
- Lake Champlain Birding Trail
- Fishing in the Adirondacks
- Adirondack Sport Fishing
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
- Continuing Education

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