Past & Present
The Congregational Church of Canton is in the Congregational tradition of our Puritan and Pilgrim forebears. In 1957 we joined the merger of the Congregational Christian and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches to form the United Church of Christ. As a member of that denomination, we continue in the tradition whereby each local congregation is free, under the headship of Jesus Christ, to establish its own priorities and goals, and determine its own form of worship. We believe in the Reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Each of us is responsible to participate in the ministry, worship and work of the congregation. All are invited to share with us in seeking to know and follow the will of God in our time.
Our history begins in 1717, when Joseph Morse was settled as the first Congregational minister in Canton. This was a necessary precondition for the establishment of Canton as a town. In the wake of the Congregational/Unitarian controversy in the early 1800s, our church was reestablished in the 1820s. A small congregation began meeting in the home of Mrs. Katie Hartwell, who lived close to the present Canton viaduct. Having no meetinghouse, and no settled pastor, the members constructed a small building in 1830 on “Orthodox Hill” near the intersection of Washington and Neponset streets. Later, nearby land was purchased for a dollar from Captain Jedediah Morse, and a new church home was built and dedicated on August 22, 1860.
In the 1960s space needs prompted the construction of our present facilities, which were completed in three stages. The Parish Center was dedicated on October 6, 1963, and the new Church on September 8, 1968. Beginning in 1991, the clergy office suite and education wing were enlarged, this addition being dedicated in September of 1993.
Today we are a lively, caring and diverse fellowship. Dedicated to expanding our congregation’s Christian discipleship and service in Jesus’ name, as well as meeting the challenges that foster formation of a new generation of church members. You are cordially invited to become a part of our church family and the work God has given us here in Canton and across the globe.