A BRIEF HISTORY OF MCC
Although our present building was constructed in 1859, the original church was organized in 1729 when the farming community of Middleton first became a town. Our founders needed a church that was nearby. They were granted permission to form a new parish by the Province of Massachusetts Bay, provided they could build a suitable meeting house and support the ministry and a school. They built the church with box pews that were allotted to the families for a fee. This meetinghouse was used for all town meetings, as well as for worship. Preachers came and went over time and the church was improved upon. During the Revolutionary War, parishioners augmented the minister’s salary by donating food, cloth, wood, labor, etc.—each according to their ability to give. There was no stove for heating until 1828. Dissension over an Evangelical preaching style forced the majority of church members to withdraw in the 1830s. The Evangelicals built a new church down the road and the original structure was eventually demolished. Late in the 1850s, when the congregation needed more space, they rebuilt at the site of their first meeting house.
BUILT IN 1859
In time, a parsonage was built, pew fees were replaced by weekly offerings, and choir music became a very important part of the service. A fire destroyed the church organ and part of the building in November of 1874, but funds were raised for repair by spring. The 1900s brought electricity, town water, and steam heat to the church. In an ambitious project, the building was raised four feet to add our Fellowship Hall and kitchen in 1933. The old Evangelical Society was dissolved in 1950 and the church became united as the Middleton Congregational Church (MCC). In 1953 the Sunday School wing was added on to the church building. You can read more of our church’s early history here: 1954 – History of Middleton Congregational Church
MCC TODAY & TOMORROW
In 2005, a multi-phase project was begun to restore, beautify, and modernize MCC. It was called the Nehemiah Project. It was named after the Old Testament figure famous for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. For the first two phases of the project, our goal was to improve both the structure and the look of the church and to make it a better place of worship while keeping its quaint “Old New England” style. Nehemiah Phase I brought improvements to the outer parts of the church (roof, steeple, windows, doors, etc.). In Phase II we refurbished the inside by expanding the stage and narthex, strengthening the balcony, updating the electricity and lighting, adding handicapped access, air conditioning, floors and carpeting, and a fresh coat of paint throughout. A bank loan was secured in order to finish Phase II. With the help of a generous $100,000 matching donation, the loan was completely paid off in the fall of 2013! Praise the Lord!
Also in 2013 through the help of a generous benefactor, we were able to make additional improvements to the exterior of the church, including new front stairs and front door, removal of the old handicap ramp and replaced with a functional stairway (for emergency use), residing the church with cement board, and a new paint job on the entire church. With this work complete, we are enjoying the beauty, safety, and accessibility of MCC! We thank God for his faithfulness along the way and pray for his guidance in all future plans for expansion and improvement.
A SAMPLING FROM MCC’S HISTORICAL ARCHIVES
1950 – Church Renovation Project (photo)
1953 – Easter Choir (photo)
1954 – MCC Prayer
1963 – Church Fair Booth Fire (news clipping)
1963 – Church Fair Booth Re-built (news clipping)
1964 – First Ecumenical Service in Middleton (news clipping)
1968 – Ecumenical Service News (news clipping)
1990 – Handicap Ramp Installed (news photo)
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