Church to Celebrate 275 Years

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The West Suffield Congregational Church is proudly celebrating its 275th Anniversary on November 10 and 11, and residents of the surrounding communities are invited to take part in this momentous occasion. On Saturday, November 10, an Open House will be held from 1-3 p.m. displaying historic communion ware, bibles, hymnals and church rolls with records containing hundreds of names from generations of families. Scrapbooks, kept by the Church Historian, include lots of pictures and programs of church life and other memorabilia. In addition, a recently re-discovered quilt made by ladies in the church from 1885-1888 will be on display. The quilt bears the names of families in the community from that time period.

On Sunday, November 11, a service to celebrate the Church’s birthday will be held at 10 a.m. with former ministers of WSCC invited to take part in the service followed by a light luncheon. Current church members look forward to seeing old friends and members as they reminisce about their years at WSCC.

The founding of the church dates back to November 10, 1743 when the Second Ecclesiastical Society of Suffield received permission from the General Court of Northampton, MA (Suffield was part of Massachusetts until 1749) to form the Second Ecclesiastical Society of Suffield so that families in the western part of town would not have to make the ‘long journey’ to Suffield’s First Church. A meeting house was built on Ireland Plain; its site located in the southwest corner of what now is the West Suffield Cemetery. A monument stands to mark the site.

Rev. John Graham Jr., a graduate of Yale, was the first pastor of the church and stayed for 50 years! He raised 17 children, one of whom was Sylvester Graham who invented the graham flour, which was later used in today’s graham cracker. Fifty-one pastors, including interims, have followed in Rev. John Graham Jr.’s footsteps leading the congregants in worship through today.

In 1795 the Society, needing a larger place to worship, built a new meeting house on the present site of the church at Mountain Rd. and North Grand St. Forty-four years later the church was torn down and replaced in 1840 with the present Greek Revival Church style.

For 275 years the West Suffield Congregational Church has supported the families in the surrounding area. Today the church continues its support through active participation in many mission projects including the Crossroads Food Pantry (second Thursday of each month) and the Foodshare Mobile Food Truck (every other Tuesday). WSCC also offers the use of its facilities to local groups, including sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop 66 and Cub Scout Pack 66.

The community is invited to join in the 275th celebration of WSCC during one or both of these special times. For more details on the celebration or any of the activities at WSCC, please call 860-668-2271.

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