Church & State Walking Tour: Evangelical Congregational Church

57 West Main Street

The first church in Westborough was originally built on Powder Hill near Lake Chauncy in 1724 under Reverend Ebenezer Parkman. Parkman was the first minister in Westborough, and he served in this position for 58 years. In 1749, the congregation moved into the Second Meeting House, which is where the Arcade Building now stands. Sponsorship of churches by town government officially ended in 1833, which encouraged more religious diversity. Soon after, a Trinitarian-Unitarian dispute arose among Congregational churches throughout New England, including in Westborough. A split in the First Church resulted in 1834, with some members of the Congregational church forming the Congregational Unitarian Church, and others forming the Evangelical Society.

The Congregational Church
(Westborough Public Library)

The Evangelical Society originally had 56 members, and they decided to build a brand new church downtown, while the Unitarians continued to meet in the Second Meeting House (Arcade Building) until they eventually built a new church kitty-corner to the Evangelical Congregationalists. Today, if you go inside the Evangelical Congregational Church you can visit the Parkman Memorial Chapel and learn more about the town’s first minister.

The Evangelical Congregational Church

Click here to return to “The Early Development of Westborough through Church and State” walking tour