Our History and 300 Years of Worship

gfcdowntownbackground.png

In the footsteps of the Pilgrims

When we gather in our light-filled, historic Meetinghouse, we are following in the footsteps of the generations who have worshipped in Green’s Farms since 1711. In 1648, five families set out west from Fairfield to farm alongside Long Island Sound next to Burying Hill Beach in what is now Westport. By 1711 they had been joined by another 265 farmers who worked the excellent crop land with Indian and slave labor.

In honor of the most successful farmer, John Green, the settlement became known as Green’s Farms.

In 1711, the Connecticut Legislature said the settlers could start their own church, separate to Fairfield. The first Meetinghouse – a square wooden barn – was at the foot of Morningside Drive and Green’s Farms Road. George Boughton’s painting, Pilgrims Going to Church, captures the likely scene of worshippers called to church by the beating of a drum.

In 1736 a larger Meetinghouse was built at the corner of Green’s Farms Road and the Sherwood Island Connector, opposite the Colonial Burial Ground, the first of two cemeteries belonging to the church.

In 1779, a British raiding party burned down the Meetinghouse, the parsonage and many other homes. The third Meetinghouse went up on the site of the current church in 1789, then the building we use today replaced it in 1853. 

Despite the wars, snowstorms, hurricanes and other calamities of those 300+ years, people have worshiped at our church without missing a Sunday.

For the full story, pick up a copy of our 300th Anniversary History at the church. It’s an entertaining read that brings to life the intertwined history of community, church, town, state and nation.