Though Central Congregational Church was founded in 1909, the origins of this congregation stretch back to the colonial period.

We are looking forward to building our historical library and archives! Please check back in the near future for additional details about our church’s rich history.

1767 – Founding

53 people amicably separate from the First Religious Society over a disagreement about a successor to Rev. John Lowell. They establish the Third Religious Society.

1768 – First building

The congregation purchased land on a private way (today's Titcomb Street). They built the first building facing the river. It was made of wood with a steeple.

1826 – New building project

The congregation established a committee to prepare the new building. The old building was demolished. A crowd gathered in Brown Square to watch the removal of the steeple. Construction began on the new brick building.

1911 – Rededication

The young Central Congregational Church renovated and rededicated our building.

1932 – Ceiling collapsed

On May 15th, 1932, nearly 200 people were gathered in the sanctuary when the ceiling -- a recently constructed false ceiling -- began to collapse. Frank Jaques and the Rev. Harry Grimes made a quick decision to evacuate the sanctuary, so nobody was harmed. But...

1969 – Steeple rebuilt

In 1969 Central's steeple was rebuilt at a cost of $130,000. Part of the appeal of the project was that only three steeples remained in Newburyport. Other churches, including Old South Presbyterian, Immaculate Conception, and Baptist and Methodist Churches, had...

Organs at Central Congregational Church

Music has always played an important role in the history of Central Congregational Church in Newburyport. From its founding as North Church in 1768, to the creation of Central Church in 1909, to the present day, instrumental music and singing have enhanced worship,...

A photo of the 1862 Hook Organ