A history of
The Central Congregational Church
Attleboro Falls, MA
Christian Education Building
As early as 1829, when Attleboro Falls was part of Attleboro, a religious organization called The Falls District Sabbath Society was formed. During the next four decades, Sunday afternoon services were held in the Towne Street schoolhouse and conducted by ministers of nearby churches.
Through the efforts of Reverend Samuel Bell of the Second Congregational Church, in what is now the city of Attleboro, a committee from the Taunton Conference supplied the pulpit in the Falls. One of these ministers prepared the way for a permanent church organization. It was the Rev. George H. Tilton, who called a meeting on March 19, 1874 and formed the Central Church.
This was an era of great change, nine years after the Civil War and thirteen years before North Attleborough separated from Attleboro. The old village "Burying Ground" was decided upon as being the most convenient and desirable location for a church building. After overcoming some considerable objection over the removal of some of the bodies, which the plans for the church building necessitated, work was begun on May 5, 1874, and the first cornerstone was laid on June 16, 1874. One year later, the building was dedicated.
During the first forty-one years of the church's life, eleven pastors served the parish. Then in 1915, Rev. Eber E. Craig was called by the church and served the longest pastorate, forty-one years, until 1956. During his tenure, the church was incorporated in 1920, and the first deaconesses were elected in that same year. A parsonage was built on Cushman Street in 1945.
The church has been renovated three times during its life, with the present set-up of a divided chancel taking the place of the original central pulpit in 1964. The Vestry in the basement of the church building was renovated in 1988 and was refurbished in 2015. In 1992, a Capital Funds campaign was held to pay for needed repairs and the addition of an elevator for handicapped accessibility to the sanctuary. In 2010, the historic clock in the steeple was restored in memory of Marjorie Furbish. The front stairs and platform were replaced in 2012, following another successful Capital Funds campaign.
During the 1950s, a four square colonial house was purchased from the Staples family. This served as a parish house and provided added Sunday School rooms. It was considered unsafe during the early 1960's and was sold and moved to a new location on Mt. Hope Street. In 1964, groundbreaking took place for the present Christian Education Building on the same site.
For many years, Central Congregational Church has been reaching out to the community and the world through its many mission efforts. We are a charter member of the Attleboro Area Council of Churches, have donated generously to the Sturdy Hospital Chaplaincy program, the Food n' Friends kitchens for people who are hungry, to national and international disaster relief, and most recently to aid in building a vocational technical school in Haiti.
We also work to promote understanding in local ecumenical and interfaith activities.