North Congregational Church
New Hartford, Litchfield County, Connecticut

Compiled & Written By:
Rev. Dr. Greg Dawson
North Congregational Church
New Hartford, CT

  Hard copies are available for $8 from the church.


"You can't tell where you're going
unless you know where you've been"

New Hartford around the turn of the 20th Century

In the 1900’s Americans would transition from traveling by horse back to driving an
automobile, from watching Haley’s comet to watching a man walk on the moon. This was
clearly the century of future shock. In the 1960’s Alvin Toffler first coined the phrase "Future
Shock" to describe the rapid transitions that the 20th century world was experiencing. He then
went on to describe three global transitional phases in his next book, "The Third Wave."
These transitions are: from nomadic people to agrarian communities, from agrarian
communities to industrialized nations, then from industrialized nations to informational
networks. In his third book, "War and Antiwar" he explained how these transitions between
nations at different levels of development caused the majority of wars. The power of Toffler’s
description is that as you read the history of New Hartford you can see the transitions from
agrarian to industrial, and the present shift from industrial to informational. Those who can
see these transitions can then understand the problems those transitions created for our

Conflict between global powers, he argues, takes place between industrial and
non-industrial powers. That two-way split in world power has dominated the planet for 300
years. It would lead the 20th century into two World Wars and innumerable regional conflicts.
The blood spilled by our nation’s children would fuel an almost endless line of monuments and
memorials. For New Hartford this shift in industrial power would hit very close to home.
In 1902 the Greenwoods Company closed for economic reasons, largely because the cost of
labor was one-third less in the South. Two weeks after the company closed, 400 families left
New Hartford. Some went to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Closing the mill was
economically devastating to the town. It would take more than 60 years for the population to
reboutn to 1900 levels.

Rev. Dr. Frank S. Brewer (1898-1906)

Frank Brewer was born January 7, 1869 in Ashton, Illinois. He received his training
at Beloit Academy and College where he received a BA, and his theological training at
Hartford Seminary graduating with a BD, in 1894. He was ordained by the Congregational
Council of South Glastonbury, CT., in 1894. He came to New Hartford in 1898. In his stay
with our church Dr. Brewer would serve during two American wars. The war with Spain in
1898 and the war with the Philippines from 1899 to 1901. In 1900 New Hartford missionary,
Horace Tracy Pitkin was killed in China during the Boxer Rebellion. And in 1901 President
William McKinley was assassinated. It was in 1902 the Greenwood Company closed costing
the town 400 families. In 1903 Dr. Brewer was on hand when the church celebrated it’s 75th
anniversary. In 1906 the church declared a resolution against the New England Railroad
Company for the new practice of running train service during the Sunday Morning Worship.
The train tracks at that time ran right behind the sanctuary. Dr. Brewer left our church in 1906
to take a pastorate in Palmer, Mass.

Rev. Dr. Edward O. Grisbrook (1907-1918)

Edward Grisbrook was born on September 26, 1866 in London England. He attend
McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he received a BA in 1893, and Hartford
Theological Seminary where he earned his BD in 1904. He was ordained in Barrie, Ontario
Canada in 1893 and entered US fellowship in 1894. He came to New Hartford in 1907, the
year that Oklahoma become a state. While he was with us new Pilgrim hymnals were bought
for the sanctuary in 1908. This was also the year that Henry Ford introduced his "Model T."
In 1912 Arizona and New Mexico became states. This same year a gale snapped the steeple of
the Town Hill Church piercing the roof point and coming to rest in the balcony. It is from this
event that Town Hill Church came to be known as the church that struck itself. This is the
logo that is used by the New Hartford Town. At a later date the Town Hill Church was struck
by lightening and burned to the ground. In 1914 World War I broke out and in 1916, the
year World War I ended, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church bought the Baptist Church in New
Hartford, thus ending a Baptist presence in New Hartford. Then in the year 1917 the Russian
revolution took place and in 1918 Dr. Grisbrook left our church to serve in Newtown, CT.

World War I

World War I was an international conflict that embroiled most of the nations of
Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions. The war
pitted the Central Powers—mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey—against the
Allies—mainly France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States.
It ended with the defeat of the Central Powers. The war was virtually unprecedented in the
slaughter, carnage, and destruction it caused.

World War I was also one of the great watersheds of 20th-century geopolitical history.
It led to the fall of four great imperial dynasties of Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary,
and Turkey, and resulted in the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. World War I had a
destabilizing effect upon the European society, laying the groundwork for World War II.
For over four years World War One raged on, leaving in its wake a toll of death and
destruction such as the world had never seen. It was suppose to be "The War To End All
Wars," but instead it became a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century
in human history.

This war was best described by Tony Novosel when he wrote,

"It was more than just a war between nations. It was a war between what was and was
to be. The old world was dying, and the new world had yet to be born. People of all
classes and nations saw it as some great cleansing fire that would accelerate this battle
and lead to a better world. But, when it was over, more than men had died in the mud
of the battlefields. The naive dreams of progress, along with the innocence of the
pre-war world, faith in God, and hope in the future all died in the trenches of Europe."

"We're not making a sacrifice.
Jesus, you've seen this war.
We are the sacrifice."

Inscription on a Statue dedicated to
The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

Rev. Hubert S. Stafford (1920-1925)

All that is known is that he was Ordained in 1912. It was during his time at our
church that Prohibition began in 1920.

Rev. Arthur E. Paterson (1925-1927)

Arthur Paterson was born on January 29, 1884 at Middletown Connecticut.
He graduated Wesleyan University in 1906 with the degree of Ph.B. After working in the
secular world for many years he decided to take up educational work under Christian
auspices. He spent the next two years in the South at Emerson Institute, Mobile, Ala. and
Brewer Institute, Greenwood, S. Carolina teaching and having charge of the teaching of
Negro children as an employee of the American Missionary Association. Family reasons
brought him back to Connecticut in 1925 where he became pastor of the North
Congregational Church. While he was here the church was incorporated in 1926. He left the
church in 1927.

Rev. Robert Waldemar Putsch (1927-1930)

Robert Putsch was born in Winona Minnesota on March 19, 1904. He graduated from
Carleton College, in 1925. Between 1927-1930 he pastored our Church in New Hartford,
CT., while he was a part-time student at Hartford Theological Seminary. During this time he
was ordained in New Haven CT., in 1928. Under his supervision the stained glass windows
were releaded and strengthened. He was ordained in New Haven CT., in 1928. During that
same year our church celebrated it’s 100th anniversary, with a memorial service on Dec. 2nd
and an afternoon and evening service on the following Wednesday. This Wednesday service
consisted of clergymen and musicians, historical addresses and a collation. Then in 1929
Town Hill Church collapsed. In that same year the nation entered the Great Depression.
Around this time Rev. Putsch left the church to attend Harvard Divinity School from which he
graduated in 1931.

The Beginning of the Great Depression

The Great Depression may be said to have begun with a catastrophic collapse of
prices on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929. The Encyclopedia Britannica states
that during the next three years stock prices in the United States continued to fall, until by late
1932 they had dropped to only about 20 percent of their value in 1929. Besides ruining many
thousands of individual investors, this precipitous decline in the value of assets greatly strained
financial institutions, particularly those holding stocks in their portfolios. Many banks were
consequently forced into insolvency; by 1933, 11,000 of the United States' 25,000 banks had
failed. The failure of so many banks, combined with a general and nationwide loss of
confidence in the economy, led to much-reduced levels of spending and demand and hence of
production, thus aggravating the downward spiral. The result was drastically falling output
and drastically rising unemployment. By 1932, US manufacturing output had fallen to 54
percent of its 1929 level, and unemployment had risen to between 12 and 15 million workers,
or 25–30 percent of the work force.

The Great Depression began in the United States but quickly turned into a worldwide
economic slump owing to the special and intimate relationships that had been forged between
the United States and economies after World War I. The United States had emerged from the
war as the major creditor and financier of postwar Europe. So once the American economy
slumped and the flow of American investment credits to Europe dried up, prosperity tended to
collapse there as well. The Depression hit hardest those nations that were most deeply
indebted to the United States. In Germany, unemployment rose sharply beginning in late 1929,
and by early 1932 it had reached 6 million workers, or 25 percent of the work force.
Britain was less severely affected, but its industrial and export sectors remained seriously
depressed until World War II. In Europe, the Great Depression strengthened extremist forces
and lowered the prestige of liberal democracy. In Germany, economic distress directly
contributed to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. The Nazis' public-works projects and their
rapid expansion of munitions production ended the Depression there by 1936.

The Great Depression had important consequences in the political sphere. In the
United States, economic distress led to the election of the Democrat to the presidency in late
1932. Roosevelt introduced a number of major changes in the structure of the American
economy, using increased government regulation and massive public-works projects to
promote a recovery. But despite this active intervention, mass unemployment and economic
stagnation continued, though on a somewhat reduced scale, with about 15 percent of the
work force still unemployed in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. After that,
unemployment dropped rapidly as American factories were flooded with orders from overseas
for armaments and munitions. The depression ended completely soon after the United States'
entry into World War II in 1941.

World War II

Just twenty years after the Treaty of Versailles, the world was ravaged by war once
again. Millions of lives, both civilian and military, were lost. The reverberations would be felt
throughout the 20th century and beyond. World war II was a conflict that involved virtually
every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents were the Axis
powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies—France, Great Britain, the United
States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. The war was in many respects a
continuation, after an uneasy 20-year hiatus, of the disputes left unsettled by World War I.
The 40,000,000–50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict as
well as the largest war in history. World War II was one of the great watersheds of
20th-century geopolitical history. It resulted in the extension of the Soviet Union's power to
nations of eastern Europe, enabled a Communist movement eventually to achieve power in
China, and marked the decisive shift of power in the world away from the states of western
Europe and toward the United States and the Soviet Union.

Rev. Frank Landolt (1931-1934)

Our record of Frank Landolt begins with him attending Camden, NJ High School and
Wesleyan University (dates unknown). He then graduated from the Hartford Seminary in 1933
and the New York General Seminary in 1947. As a third year student at Hartford Seminary
Landolt began his ministry at North Congregational Church in New Hartford Connecticut in
1931. In the year of his arrival the Congregational Church and the Christian Church merged to
become the Congregational Christian Church. He served during the height of the Great
Depression and saw the government repealed Prohibition in 1933. While he served our church
Rev. Landolt conducted the first summer church day school. In 1934, his last year with our
church, repairs were done on the Academy Hall, the church steeple, Cupola and Church
roof. A new stove was also installed in the upper floor of the Academy Hall. After he left our
church he became the Associate Pastor at a congregational church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rev. Henry Ammen Peck (1935-1941)

Henry Peck was born in Lobelia, West Virginia, on January 1, 1901. He graduated
from Yale Divinity School (date unknown). He was then ordained in the Congregational
Church, Naugatuck, CT., in 1929. He came to New Hartford, CT., in 1935. In 1936 there
was a local flood. In response to this disaster the Academy Hall was used as soup kitchen.
It was in this year that the Women’s Auxiliary was begun (1937-1997). While he was with us,
Rev. Peck organized a Boy Scout troop and was a scout leader. During his ministry repairs
were made in both the parsonage and the Academy Hall, the steeple and roof of the Church
were strengthened and painted, one hundred new hymnals were purchased, and the Railroad
property in back of the Church was purchased. In 1939 the interior of the church was painted
and redecorated. A rededication service was held on the 5th of November, followed by a tea
and social hour as well as Vespers, Communion, and reception of new members. When he left
our church he went to Windsor Locks, CT., 1941-1961.

Rev. Ellis E. Peterson (1942-1943)

We have no record of his birth or education. What we do know is that he came to
Connecticut as a probationary member of the Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist
Church in 1942, appointed to attend Hartford Seminary. While at seminary he served as
pastor of our church. During Rev. Peterson’s stay, a Church Flag was given in memory of
Dr. Frederick Parker Gay, and much war relief work was undertaken. After completion of his
education he was elected an Elder in the United Methodist Church in Nebraska in 1944 and
ordained in New York in 1945. After ordination he returned to Nebraska.

Rev. Dr. Archie Goff Bedford (1943-1945)

Born the son of Rev. Archie B. Bedford, the 33rd minister of the New Harmony
Christian Church in Curryville MO. His education was in political science at Syracuse
University and then he attended Yale Divinity School. After World War II he earned a B D
degree from Emory University and served as minister of Congregational and Christian
churches in CT (where he served New Hartford, 1943-1945). In was during his service that
on August 6 & 9, 1945, that atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. World War II ended the
year Rev. Bedford left our church.

Historical records show that a Rev. Ernest G. Spinney
was interim pastor during the summer of 1945.

Rev. Glyn Rosser (1945-1951)

Little is known about Glyn Rosser other than that he was born in Glynneath, Glam,
South Wales, March 15, 1907. He graduated Hartford Theological Seminary (date unknown).
He was ordained in Taylor, View, Iowa, where he served between 1914-17. He came to New Hartford in 1945. During his ministry the Church’s By-laws were revised and the executive officers of the Church were combined with the Ecclesiastical society. The Church roof was painted and repaired, and a new oil-burning heating system was installed in the church at a cost of $1760. A beautiful silver communion service was given in memory of Mrs. Henry R. Jones, presented by Mr. and Mrs. H. Rogers Jones. In 1949 William Gay, a lay member of our church, entered ordained ministry. It was on June 1950 that the Korean War began. Our church was given a blow when on May 11, 1951, Rev. Rosser died suddenly in New Hartford from heart failure. He held a vision for a new parish hall which would only be built after his death in 1961.

The Korean War

At the end of World War II, the Allies agreed that Soviet forces would accept the
surrender of Japanese troops in Korea north of the 28th degree of latitude, while American
troops would accept the Japanese surrender south of that line. In 1947, after the failure of
negotiations to achieve the unification of the two Korean states that had thus been created, the
United States turned the problem over to the United Nations. The Soviet Union refused to
cooperate with UN plans to hold general elections in the two Koreas, and, as a result, a
communist state was permanently established under Soviet auspices in the north and a
pro-Western state was set up in the south. By 1949 both the United States and the Soviet
Union had withdrawn the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula.

On June 25, 1950, the North Koreans, with the tacit approval of the Soviet Union,
unleashed a carefully planned attack southward across the 38th parallel. The United Nations
Security Council met in emergency session and passed a resolution calling for the assistance of
all UN members in halting the North Korean invasion. On June 27, US President Truman,
without asking Congress to declare war, ordered United States forces to come to the
assistance of South Korea as part of the UN "police action." The American people were once
again embroiled in war. The Korean War resulted in the deaths of about 1,300,000 South
Koreans, many of whom were civilians, 1,000,000 Chinese, 500,000 North Koreans, and
about 37,000 Americans. Several million Koreans temporarily became refugees, much of
South Korea's industrial plant was damaged, and North Korea was utterly devastated by
American bombing campaigns.

Dr. Joseph Novotny (1952-1956)

In the midst of this conflict in Korea Rev. Joseph Novotny came to pastor our church
after the loss of Rev. Rosser. Joseph Novotny was born in Prague Czechoslovakia. He was
the son of the Dr. Henry Novotny, founder of Baptist work in that country. He received his
education at the universities of Prague, Vienna and Geneva, Nottingham England,
and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He was
ordained in 1909 and served as pastor of the Prague Baptist Church. When World War II
ended, he accepted a posting to Weisbaden, Germany, in 1946 where he served as director of
the Christian Relief agencies licensed to operate in Germany after World War II.

On his return to the United States in 1952 he stayed with his son Daniel who at that
time was the pastor of the Congregational Church in Goshen. While there he was approached
by the North Congregational Church of New Hartford about becoming their pastor.
He accepted, serving from 1952-1956. While our pastor, membership doubled and Sunday
School and youth group membership quadrupled. The congregation also built an outdoor
temple unique in the state (see newspaper article in Novotny records) and the church was
extensively refurbished in 1952 at the cost of $2400. Renovations included the replacement of
the Johnson Organ with a used Theatrical Organ. In that same year on May 10, a memorial
service was held at North Congregational Church in memory of Rev. Glyn Rosser who died
the previous year. The Literary and Social Club planted a shrub on church grounds in memory
of Rev. Rosser. (Kitty Bsullak claims the shrub is the center left bush in front of the

In 1953 the church observed 125 Years of Activity: A complete history of North
Congregational Church, 1928 to 1953 was read (Citizen, Jan. 12,1954; Scrapbook #10, p. 11).  Mrs. Frederick Parker Gay read an article she wrote on the History of the Church in which she outlined the various pastors. Rev. James English, superintendent of the Connecticut
Conference gave a discourse on "The Old Church in the New Day." Mrs. Elizabeth Russell
contributed flowers in honor of her great-great grandfather Col. William Goodwin. Messages were read from six former pastors. It was at this time that plans were made for a new Parish House. In 1954 the Bakerville Methodist Church burned down.

The Flood of 1955

Dr. Novotny’s son Daniel told me a wonderful story of the flooding of the Farmington
river in 1955. Dr. Novotny was vacationing at the time in Cape Cod, but upon hearing of the
flood sought to return to his congregation. When he was stopped by the Connecticut National
Guard he showed them paperwork attesting to his commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the
United States Army. He had received a commission during his service in Germany as the
director of the Christian Relief agencies to better facilitate his work with the US occupation
force in Europe. As a result of showing his commission he was transported to New Hartford
by Army Helicopter. Retiring in 1957 Rev. Novotny moved to Harwich Massachusetts where
he served as interim pastor at a number of Cape Cod churches.

The Vietnam War

It was in this year of 1955 that the United States began it’s involvement in Vietnam.
This conflict was a protracted and unsuccessful effort by South Vietnam and the United States
to prevent North Vietnam from uniting with South Vietnam under their leadership.
This escalating war would last through three pastors. In the United States, sentiment against
US participation in the war mounted steadily from 1967 on and expressed itself in growing
numbers of politicians and ordinary citizens questioning whether the US war effort could
succeed and even whether it was morally justifiable in a conflict that some interpreted as a
Vietnamese civil war.

More than 47,000 Americans were killed in this action, nearly 11,000 died of other
causes, and more than 303,000 were wounded in the war. Estimates of the ARVN's casualties
range from 185,000 to 225,000 killed and 500,000 to 570,000 wounded. The North
Vietnamese and Viet Cong suffered about 900,000 troops killed and an unknown, but huge
number of wounded. In addition, more than 1,000,000 North and South Vietnamese civilians
were killed during the war. Parts of the countryside were scarred by bombs and defoliation,
and some cities and towns were heavily damaged. By the war's end much of the population of
South Vietnam had become refugees seeking an escape from the fighting. Agriculture,
business, and industry had been disrupted. The cost of the war has been estimated to have
totaled about $200 billion. With the communist victory in South Vietnam and communist
takeovers in neighboring Cambodia and Laos, the new Vietnam emerged as an important
Southeast Asian power.

Rev. Murray Sleeper (1957-1963)

Murray Sleeper was born in Worcester, Mass., on May 26, 1920. He graduated
Worcester Junior College in 1942; Clark University in 1944; and Andover Newton
Theological School in 1947. He served our church in New Hartford between 1958-1963.
During his years Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states of the Union in 1959 and
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Events which took place in New
Hartford included: the Bakerville Methodist Church began building a new church facility in
1957 to replace the one that burned down in 1954. This same year the United Church of
Christ was formed. On March 14, 1958 the Academy Hall was finally torn down to make way
for a new parish hall to be built. In that same year North Congregational Church was
bequested the homestead of Augusta Berard Chandler for a men’s club in memory of her
grandfather John Cotton Smith and $30,000 for maintenance. She also left $10,000 for a
chapel at the New Hartford cemetery and a trust for it’s maintenance. North Congregational
Church thus became the residuary legatee of her will.

On December 4, 1960 services were conducted at the newly completed Bakerville
Methodist Church by Rev. Jones. During the construction of the new church services were
held in the Fellowship Hall and in the Bakerville Library. In 1961 the new parish hall for
North Congregational Church was opened and the cornerstone dedicated in the memory of
John Cotton Smith. As part of the celebration a copper box, made by William Goodwin, was
placed in the cornerstone. This box contained: a picture of the John Cotton Smith home on
Main Street, a brochure used in raising funds for the John Cotton Smith parish hall, five 1960
ten cent coins, a list of the present church members, a picture of ground breaking ceremonies
held in August 1959, a copy of the 1960 census, a 1958-59 town report, among other items. It was in this same year that our church voted to become a member of the United Church of
Christ. After Rev. Sleeper left us in 1963 he went on to pastor in Benzonia, Mi.

Rev. Graham Child (1964-1977)

Graham Child attended Greenwich High School and received his BA degree from
Drew University in 1937 and a BD degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1943.
He was ordained in the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich in 1943. He came to
our church in 1964. While at our church he married Dorothy Carlson Mandel. In 1969 the
Sanctuary was refurbished and a lighted cross was installed behind the pulpit. During his years
with us the world watched as America sent men to the moon. In 1972 the United States
extracted itself painfully from the conflict in Vietnam. He retired from North Congregational
Church in 1977 and was then honored by our church in 1978 when he was named Pastor
Emeritus. In his retirement he served as supply pastor and interim to many area churches. He
continued to live in New Hartford until his death in 1999. While the church was looking for a
pastoral replacement Rev. Harry Peatt served as our interim.

Revs. Dale & Dolly Bond (1977-1981)

Dolly Bond was the first female minister at North Congregational Church and together
with her husband Dale they were our first co-pastorate. Little is known about the Bonds
other then they no longer serve as ministers. During their ministry the Church celebrated it’s
150th anniversary in 1978. As part of this celebration the ladies auxiliary designed a quilt of
historic places and buildings. This quilt hangs in the sanctuary.

Dr. Harry L. Peatt (1981-1985)

Harry L. Peatt was born on January 24, 1940. He graduated from Southern Methodist
University with a BA in 1961, the Yale Divinity School with an M. Div. in 1965. Rev. Peatt
first came to our church as an interim in 1977 while pursuing an Doctor of Ministry degree
from Andover Newton Theological School which he receive that same year. He then became
our permanent minister in 1981, the same year President Reagan was shot. While he was with
our church the United states invaded Grenada in 1983. After leaving us he went on to serve a
number of churches in New York, New Hampshire and finally Perkinsville, Vt.

Rev. Marshal Hughes (1985-1992)

Little is known of Rev. Marshal Hughes, but during his stay the following events took
place: shuttle Challenger explodes in 1986, the Berlin Wall is torn down on November 9, 1989 and the United States invaded Panama, Desert Shield/Storm took place between 1990-1991, and American troops were sent into Somalia from 1992 till 1994.

Desert Storm

In 1979 Saddam Hussein took control of Iraq, and immediately set the tone for his rule
by killing 21 of his cabinet members. He wanted to make his country whole once again so in
1990 he invaded Kuwait and in less than 4 hours he had taken that country and controlled
24% of the worlds oil supplies. It seemed as if his next target was Saudi Arabia. The United
States entered this conflict after a call for protection by Saudi Arabia. 1990 and 1991 saw the
military events of Desert Shield, or the build-up of troops in the region and Desert Storm,
a all-out attack to free Kuwait.

Rev. Doretta Clark (1994-1999)

Doretta Clark graduated Glassboro State College, NJ in 1978 with a BS in Education
and a minor in Environmental Science. After college she taught middle school science for five
years after which she moved to Connecticut. Between 1991 to 1992 she took classes at
Andover Newton Theological and St. Joseph’s College until she went to Yale Theological
Seminary. In 1994 she received her Masters of Divinity, and was ordained at Center Church in Manchester, Connecticut on Sept. 25, 1994. Her first pastorate was with North
Congregational Church in New Hartford Connecticut were she offered two weekly programs
on the public cable station: Rhythms of Life which were five minute inspirational pieces and
Words of Inspiration which were Sunday morning messages. In 1997 the steeple was rebuilt,
a handicapped ramp was installed both inside and outside of the parish hall, and an outside
light was installed to spotlight the Shepherd window. Towards the end of her ministry in New
Hartford the church experienced numeric growth. When Rev. Clark first came to the church
the only children present were her two daughters. By the time she left there were between
25-30 children in Sunday School. In 2000 she moved on to her second pastorate as senior
pastor at the Mystic Congregational church, CT. After Doretta Clark left a new roof was
installed on the parish hall in 2000 at the cost of $75,000.

Rev. Dr. Greg Dawson (2000-present)

Greg Dawson was born on January 17, 1957 in Midland Michigan. After serving in
the Navy he attended the University of Vermont from which he graduated in 1983 with a BA.
In 1989 he graduated with his wife from Nazarene Theological Seminary with a M.Div.
After pastoring a Nazarene Church in Maine and then a Disciples of Christ Church in
Pennsylvania Rev. Dawson came to New Hartford ,CT, where he presently serves the North
Congregational Church. In May of 2002 he completed his Doctorate in Practical Ministry
from Master’s Graduate School of Divinity, Evansville Indiana. In anticipation of North
Congregational Church’s 175 anniversary in 2003 a revised history was written and services

September 11, 2001

"Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under
attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in
airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military
and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors... None of us will
ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good
and just in our world. "
President George W. Bush

On September 11, 2001, Muslim Terrorists belonging to the extremist group al-Qaida
attacked the United States. High-jacking four commercial airliners they flew two into the
World Trade Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and one crashed outside of
Pittsburgh as a result of the passenger resistance. At the writing of this history 4,102 people
are reported to have died in this horrific event. 265 people were killed on the four planes;
3712 died in the Twin Towers as a result of their collapse, and 125 perished at the Pentagon.
The US military response was to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban regime which
supported the terrorist group al-Qaida. A year later on September 11, 2002, an ecumenical
service of remembrance was held at the North Congregational Church in New Hartford.
The music was provided by Halyan Petronchak, director of music for the North
Congregational church, and the choir consisted of members of North Congregational Church
and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The following clergy and churches participated:
Rev. Greg Dawson hosted and lead the service at North Congregational Church,
New Hartford’s First Selectman Bill Baxter read the scriptures, Rev. Sue Wyman of the
Hartland Congregational Church delivered the message, Father Tim Obrien of Immaculate
Conception Church led the prayer, and Rev. Salin Low of St. John’s Episcopal Church gave
the Benediction.

175th Anniversary

To celebrate North Congregational Church’s 175th Anniversary three services are
planned. An April ecumenical service involving all the Churches of New Hartford is planned
to commemorate the setting of the North Congregational Church cornerstone. This is an
ecumenical service that is to involve all the churches of New Hartford and is to be held on the
site where Town Hill Church once stood. Each church will be invited to lead a portion of the
service and offer a short history of their church’s arrival in New Hartford. The second
anniversary service is to be Rally Day Sunday in September where all members and clergy,
past and present, will be invited back to participate in remembering of our Church’s 175 years
of ministry. The third Anniversary service is to be held in December and will be open to
representatives from United Church of Christ Churches in the Litchfield North Association
and the United Church of Christ Connecticut Conference.


"I know not what my future holds,
but I know Who holds my future"

So trusting in the God who has led us to this moment in history,
Let us boldly walk ahead in faith and see what that world will be.

Rev. Dr. Greg Dawson

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