After worship on Sunday, October 7, 2018, a group of about ten parishioners walked around downtown Milford to witness the locations where some of the Congregational ministers have lived and to hear about the stories of those pastors and their homes.
The group first walked to 67 Prospect Street, where founding pastor Peter Prudden and his family lived from 1639 through the 1650s. Originally the Prudden's lot was seven acres, including the land where the D.A.R. house now stands.
Most importantly to many of our community is that the garden behind the Prudden's original house is where the first settlers were buried by Rev. Prudden, a significant piece of Milford history that is part of the controversy surrounding future plans of the 67 Prospect lot.
The group next walked to 124 North Street, where Rev. Samuel Andrew and his family lived for over half a century. Andrew is both one of the longestt serving pastors in our church's history and also famous for co-founding the Collegiate School in 1701 which he renamed Yale College while serving as its second rector (now known as president of Yale).
We were thankful for the owners' care of the house over the years while we discussed how Andrew and other Connecticut Congregational clergy decided to found Yale because they thought that Harvard had wandered away from its strict faith in God through Jesus Christ (Princeton then is founded a few decades later when some New Jersey Congregational ministers feel that Yale has gotten too progressive!).
Next we hiked back near the Plymouth Building where we discussed the church's split into "New Lights" at the Plymouth Church, founded 1741, and First Church.
The former Senior Pastor parsonage, 15 West Main Street, had served as the Plymouth Church parsonage from around 1850, when the church bought the property, to 1926, when the two churches reunited.
Due to a conversation church leader Robbie Silver has with current co-owner of 15 West Main Street, the tour group got the treat of seeing how the renovations of the old parsonage are going (very well, we'd say!).
Although we ran out of time to cross over to the Parsons Building, we discussed how both First Church's longtime parsonage had stood on the area kitty corner from our Meetinghouse in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, and that the second pastor, Roger Newton, had lived in the house that became Clark's Tavern, where George Washington ate breakfast in 1790 and had borrowed a silver spoon from Sarah Lockwood, wife of Rev. WIlliam Lockwood.
Our pastors and church in general continue to have a significant impact on Milford and surrounding communities. What stories will future generations tell of us, and of how we live out our faith?
First United Church of Christ
34 West Main Street
Milford, CT 06460
All are welcome at First Church! As an inclusive community of God's children, we affirm the radical welcome and hospitality of the United Church of Christ; No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!
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