Highlights in the History of Kingston Congregational Church
The proprietors of the Pettaquamscutt Purchase, a tract of land acquired from the Indians in 1658, donated 300 acres of land for the support of “an orthodox person that shall be obtained to preach God’s Word to the inhabitants.”
Rev. John Woodward of Dedham, Massachusetts, began to preach at Tower Hill as a missionary supported by Massachusetts Congregationalists.
Judge Samuel Sewall of Boston donated one acre of land at Tower Hill “for the use of the inhabitants of .... Kingstown to build a Public Meeting House on.” Supported by land rent, Rev. Samuel Niles, first Rhode Island graduate from Harvard, became pastor.
Rev. MacSparran, Church of England, began court action to gain the Ministerial Lands.
Rev. Joseph Torrey ordained as pastor of the Tower Hill Church, served for nearly 60 years. Now church for the first time formally organized by the signing of the covenant.
Claim of the Congregational Church to the Ministerial Lands, on appeal, upheld by the King of England in Council. County seat for Kings County moved from Tower Hill to Little Rest (now Kingston) where new courthouse (on site of present KCC church house) and jail were built. Tower Hill began extended decline.
Rev. Torrey died. Tower Hill church activities became intermittent.
Rev. Oliver Brown, missionary of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, preaches in Little Rest.
Presbyterian Society in the Pettaquamscutt Purchase organized. In July church construction began on land donated by Elisha R. Potter. In October seven persons entered into covenant to establish the church.
January 17: Meetinghouse dedicated. Ministerial lands authorized to be sold.
Church adopted formal resolutions condemning slavery and intemperance.
Name of PSPP changed to Congregational Society in the Pettaquamscutt Purchase.
Church steeple blown down in winter storm. Members Rowland and Margaret Hazard were dismissed to form Peace Dale Congregational Church. Rev. Oliver Brown, son of the first “Kingston” pastor, was now pastor of both churches.
New members baptized in nearby Larkins Pond.
Church adopted a resolution condemning lotteries.
CSPP managed village library and reading room. Transferred them to new corporation that was set up to acquire 1775 courthouse.
Tower clock given by Miss Carrie Watson and the Little Gleaners.
Church incorporated under state charter. In 1926, unincorporated church was dissolved. Since then the incorporated church and the CSPP, have existed.
Addition to south end of church made to provide for new organ given by Herbert J. Wells. First floor room used for Sunday School and meetings. Organ dedicated July 29, 1899.
December 31, Watch Meeting Service held to mark close of Nineteenth Century.
First year that individual communion cups used. Unfermented wine first used in 1878.
RI Conf. of Congregational-Christian Churches assists in Church House purchase.
Two Sunday services held to accommodate the large attendance.
New Church Hall dedicated to provide space for Church School and church functions.
Organ installed. First organ had been installed in balcony under the steeple about 1874. A Wicks electric action organ, used 1950 to 1977, with the keyboard in the west balcony had replaced the 1899 organ.
The church celebrates its 300th year.
The Rev. Patricia Liberty becomes Interim Minister and with Music Director Enrico Garzilli leads an active congregation and UCC community.