GorhamSchool District

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle
Gorham History » 1st Parish Congregational Church

1st Parish Congregational Church

The First Parish Congregational Church was built in 1797.
It was used as a meeting house for the town in 1798 replacing the 1765 meeting house
A Historical Sketch of First Parish Church
Gorham, Maine

1742 - The original settlers of Gorham attended religious services conducted by Parson Smith who rode to town on his horse.

1743 - Rev. Benjamin Crocker of Ipswich, Mass served as minister for six months. Around this time the first log meeting house (church) was built up on Fort Hill road; it was 40' long by 30' wide, with a 20' shed. This was burned by the Indians two years later, in 1745.

1750 - On December 26, Rev. Solomon Lombard of Truro, Ma., was instaIled as the first settled minister. He served until 1764, and died in Gorham in 1781 and is buried in the old cemetery by Fort Hill.

Sometime between 1750 and 1765 a frame church was built where the Childcare Building now stands. This was the church for 30 years or more (until 1798).

1783 - Rev. Caleb Jewett was ordained November 5th, and during his pastorate the present church, was built.

1798 - Present Church erected. During the raising of some timbers, two local citizens were killed; Dr. Nathaniel Bowman and James Tyron.

Description of Church: main entrance was on south side; high pulpit with sounding board on north side; square pews with hinged seats; galleries on three sides

1815 - Stoves installed in the church.

1822 - Revere Bell placed in tower

1848 - Church Spire placed in present position

1867 - Tracker Pipe Organ installed

1903 - Steel ceiling installed.

Baptismal Font given in memory of Rev. Gregory's little girl, Frances, who died here.

In 1822 the Old Vestry was built of brick, located directly behind the church; it was removed in 1915. In 1897 the red brick Chapel was built. This is now the Childcare building.

1987 - Dedication of the New Parish House.

Rev. Perkins came in 1971. Rev. Shearman came in 1980

Longest pastorate: Rev. Harris Dibbs, 31 years, and 18 as Pastor Emeritus: total: 49

Second longest: Rev. Perkins, will have begun his 20th year when he retires.

Rev. Shearman is the 22nd Pastor as of July 1, 1990.