History of Our Church

1700's    1800's    1900's    2000's

History of the Congregational Church of Brookfield CT

1752 Winter Privilege Meetings were held in homes in the Parish of Newbury.
1754 Parish of Newbury boundaries settled.  Land was taken from New Milford, Danbury and Newtown.
28 Sept 1757 The first church was formally dedicated and Rev. Thomas Brooks was ordained as the first settled Pastor.
1760 The meetinghouse was seated with those over 50 years of aged seated in front; all other seated by last year’s list.  Rev. Thomas Brooks was given the pew left of the pulpit.
1768 The men started petitioning the government for town privileges.
1775 Brooks signed his allegiance to the Declaration of Independence.  Two of his sons fought in the Revolutionary War.
1779 Rev. Brooks was paid in wheat and Indian corn
1785 Fifty-five members declared themselves to be Episcopalians.
May 1788 The Parish of Newbury was incorporated as the town of Brookfield, named for Rev. Thomas Brooks
September 1799 Rev. Thomas Brooks dies and is buried in Land’s End Cemetery.
1810 Hymn books were purchased.
1811 A permanent fund is started
1815 The Missionary and Charitable Society was started

There was the Female Chartable Society

1819 Lucia Ruggles Holman & her brother, Samuel Ruggles, with their spouses,  left for The Hawaiian Islands as missionary.  Lucia became the first American woman to circumnavigate the globe when she returned home
1821 Sunday School was first mentioned in the records
1824 A steeple was added to the first meetinghouse.  There was no bell in the steeple.  Horse sheds were added in the back of the meetinghouse.
1825 Two missionary societies were formed:  one for Men – Gentleman’s Society and one for women – The Ladie’s Association.
1827 The meetinghouse was seated by age with free seats for the destitute
1829 A new bell was added to the Town House across the street from the Meetinghouse.  This bell was used by the Episcopal Church and us to call worshippers to church.
1830 to 1920 The church supported the temperance movement
1842 The first parsonage was built by members of the church. Rev. Dan C. Curtiss was the first minister to live here.
1854 The Present building was dedicated and a bell was added to the steeple.
1865 The members voted to put lights in the church.
1870 The second parsonage was built and Rev. Asa C. Pierce was the first minister to live here.
1874 Voted to take a collection every Sunday morning.
1880 A new pipe organ was purchased.  A boy was hired to pump the organ for 10 cents a Sunday
1882 Mrs. Pierce organized The Women’s Foreign Mission Society.
1888 The interior of the meetinghouse is completely redone.
Dec 1888 Rev. Pierce dies quite suddenly at the parsonage.  This happened on a Sunday.
Jan. 1889 Mrs. Pierce dies at the parsonage.  She had been given life use of the parsonage.  They are both buried in Central Cemetery.
1891 The pews were made free
1895 The First Ecumenical Thanksgiving held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
1900 The Church wagon was started.  They picked up people that needed a way to church

The church was incorporated and became The Congregational Church of Brookfield.

This was the year that regular Ecumenical Thanksgiving services were held with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

1903 Began using individual communion cups for communion.
1904 Mrs. Eliza G. Fairchild Peck was the first woman to be elected to the Ecclesiastical Society.
1906 The church voted to change the order of worship.  The opening should include a doxology or similar music and the Confession of Faith read by the congregation.
1907 Sequa-centennial celebration was held and the chapel (Brook’s Hall) was added.
1908 A loving cup was presented to Deacon Alfred Somers for his 50 years of service as a Deacon.  This was the year that the church began using collection envelopes.
1909 The First Ecclesiastical Society and the Congregational Church of Brookfield became one.

Rev. Harry & Rose Martin resigned and left as missionaries to Peking China.

Clarence Vroman purchased a Stanley Steamer as the church wagon.  This was the last year the church wagon was used.

1912 A cement walk was built by the Men’s Club in front of the church.

The Brookfield Improvement Society put in streetlights in Brookfield Center.

Miss Florence Vroman was the first woman Auditor was voted into office.

1914 A Children’s Day Service was held.
1915 Electricity was put in the church, chapel and parsonage.
June 1916 The present Austin Organ was installed at the cost of $3000.  A concert was held in celebration of the event.
1917 The first telephone was put in the parsonage.
Oct 1918 All public events were cancelled because of the Spanish influenza epidemic.
1922 The first Every Member Canvas was held.  The Committee on New Members was enlarged to help arrange for autos for pastoral calls.
1925 Christmas eve should be the night for the Christian exercises of the Sunday School.
1926 Steam heat was put in the parsonage.
1927 Two chemical toilets were placed in back of the church
1928 Lightning struck the steeple and lightning rods were added.
1930 The church voted to increase the budget by 15% or $75.00.
1931 Because of daylight savings time, it was decided to have Church School and Church one half hour earlier.
1933 A Union Easter service was held with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
1935 When the weather was too cold, services were held in the Chapel.
1939 The Chapel kitchen was added (the old kitchen upstairs)
1942 An oil burner was put in the church for heat.  The Young People’s Fellowship was added.
1943 The blinds in the church were opened and curtains were put in.
1944 New cushions were put in the pews.
1950 The first Summer Bible school was held.
1951 For the first time the annual reports printed and distributed.
1952 Hot water was made available at the church.  The Alpha Iota Pilgrim Fellowship was stared for the youth.
1953 For the first time there were two Easter services.
1954 Agnes Johnson was responsible for establishing the Book of Remembrance.
1955 Women’s Fellowship was started along with the Men’s Laymen’s Fellowship.
1957 Planning stages were started for the Silver Lake Conference Center.  The first Holiday Tea was held.
1958 A Junior High Fellowship was started
1961 The church voted against joining the United Church of Christ.
1962 The Board of Deaconesses was started
1964 A resolution was passed that all were equal regardless of race or creed.
1965 Two Sunday worship services were held.  The cement walk was broken up. 
1966 More votes were taken about joining the United Church of Christ.  The vote was in the affirmative in October.  The Alva Miller fund was established.
1967 A new hanging sign was put on the front lawn of the church.
1968 The first fair was held.  The money raised went for the people of Biafra.  FISH was started with the churches of Brookfield.
1969 Chapel became Brook’s Hall.
1971 The Board of Deacons and the Board of Deaconesses became one.  The iron railings were put in next to the front walk.
1972 Palms were handed out on Palm Sunday for the first time.  The room above the old kitchen was made into a music room.
1973 For the cease-fire, the church was rung by anyone that would like to -- It took all afternoon.  CROP walk was held in Brookfield.
1974 To clean out the barn, a Church auction was held.  Sold everything including the kitchen sink.
1975 The youth raised money for the Heifer project.  A women’s evening group began.  Weekly coffee hours were started after church.
1976 Traffic lights were install outside the church.  For the Bicentennial, a Colonial Worship was held.  The Mission’s committee put up the first Mission Tree.  Midday meals were served in Fellowship Hall to the seniors in town.  Storm windows and an attic fan were installed.
1977 Clarence Anderson was voted Deacon Emeritus.  The youth groups held their first Rock-A-Thon.  The First Do-It-Yourself Christmas pageant was held.
1978 Mystery property was found in Bethel and was sold.  There was the first printing of Lucia Ruggles Holman’s Journal.
1979 The Littlest Bell Choir was formed.  When the furnace broke down, services were held in Fellowship Hall.
1980 St. Nicholas/Kris Kringle program was started.
1981            The Reach line was put in along with “The Good Word” program.  Friendship Circle was started.
1982 The 225th anniversary of the church was held.  A time capsule was put together.  It was decided to have it opened on the 250th anniversary of the church.
1983 There was a complete reconditioning of the meetinghouse.
1984 Lightning struck the steeple again.  Lenten Lunches were held.
1986 “Winter Privilege” meetings were once again held.  White doves were placed on the Christmas Tree in Brook’s Hall for all those that were Baptized during the year.
1987 A handicap ramp was added to the entrance of Brook’s Hall.  The first computer was used in the office.
1988 The town celebrated its 200th anniversary with an Ecumenical Colonial worship service in our meetinghouse.  An Alleluia choir and a K-2nd grade choirs were formed.
1989 The outside of the meetinghouse was painted and the windows could be opened for the first time in many years.
1990 The parking lot was enlarged, paved and lights were put in.  The Chinese Alliance Church began meeting here.
1991 The church, parsonage, barn and cottage were all added to the National Register of Historic Places.
1992 A youth hand bell choir was started.  The Confirmation Program was changed to include mentors.  The Memorial Garden was dedicated.
1993 The first 8:00 a.m. Sunday worship service was held in the Memorial Garden.  The Serendippers group began.
1994 The Youth went to John’s Island to work.
1995 The entire front of the church was rebuilt.  The closet to the rear of the meetinghouse was removed to make a larger entryway.
1997 Rev. M. Sargent Desmond was named Pastor Emeritus.  Stephen’s Ministry program was started.
1998 New by laws were voted on and bread visitations were begun.  New Hymnals were purchased.

A special service was held at Land’s End Cemetery on the 200th anniversary of the death of Rev. Thomas Brooks.  A dinner was held and former members of the 1964 youth group were invited back to open the time capsule.  The Parish Nurses program was started.

2000 The church and offices were air-conditioned.  An Ecumenical Service was held here – Worship 2000.
2001 A lift was added to the entry next to the office.  The barn was completely renovated.
2002 On the 245th anniversary of the church, a dinner was held and all former clergy were invited back.  The cottage renovation was begun.  A refugee family will be housed there.
2003 Tom Eaker made the Stewardship boxes in the shape of the church for the “Winter Privilege Meetings.  First Annual Variety Show was held.
2004 Voted to write a church statement on Open and Affirming.  “God Is Still Speaking,” movie and dinner program.


This page was last updated on 11/21/2015 09:18 PM.
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