A Snapshot History
Rich in history and its beginning, our Winslow Congregational Church, UCC, on the “Banks of the Kennebec”, was founded August 28, 1828 by 30 members from the Vassalborough Church. Actually, the “seeds” for our church started 9 years earlier (1819) by a group of women, Ye Female Society For the Support of the Gospel. These ladies representing an agrarian society, sought religious education for their children and Bible lessons for their husbands. This group continues to meet annually on the second Tuesday of June, this year being the 198th time.
Religious services, required by Massachusetts law to employ a “gospel leader,” were held at Fort Halifax 3 years prior to U.S. independence. Our church was erected by the town as a Meeting House 1794 and finished 1796, one of the oldest in the nation. The town eventually gave this building to the newly formed church group. It was a cavernous place, difficult to heat. Church fathers erected a chapel 1876 (today’s church office building) which was sold to the town in 1903 for $500. It remained the town office until 1976 when the town deeded by to the church for $1.00 in 1976.
In 1909 there were many changes to the structure; it was rotated from south to face west as it does today. The cavernous interior was redesigned to eliminate the inner surrounding balcony, creating a sanctuary and a fellowship hall on the ground floor. A steeple was erected 1830 and remained until 1884 when the top portion was removed.
This building has been used for many events – forums, graduations, family celebrations, weddings, funerals, as well as many church focus groups. The most noted community event today is our Annual Blueberry Festival, held in August – its mission is to unite the community, the proceeds benefiting our community work and keeping our spiritual mission alive.
Worship today places emphasis on Bible teaching and is related to everyday living. Our children’s messages are Bible-oriented and children are engaged in our worship. You are invited to join help us live our historic mission in modern times.
Here are some historic photos of the church: