Our History

A story of people and their beliefs.

The history of the North Community Church is the story of people and their beliefs. First came the Pilgrim Separatists to Plymouth in 1620. Fleeing from the Anglican church of England, they established a Congregational Church, a church organized and led by the members of the congregation with God’s help. The Marshfield First Congregational Church broke away from the First Church of Plymouth in 1632. Thereafter, the Marshfield people ran their own ecclesiastical affairs.

For one hundred years, there was only one church in the town. The people of the north or east part of Marshfield walked to church every Sunday, each family using its own path or way. Some of today’s roads retain the churchgoers’ names, such as Eames Way, Sherman’s Path, and Rogers Way. By 1738 the people of East Marshfield, tired of their long walk to services, established their own church. It was called the “Chapel of Ease.” This served them well for another hundred years, until a theological disagreement divided the Second Congregational Society Church. A Unitarian faction kept title to the original church building that stood at the top of Old Main Street. A Trinitarian Congregational faction withdrew and erected a new church, the present North Community Church building. A Baptist faction built what is today the Trinity Episcopal Church on Highland Street.

All went well for another hundred years, and when a decrease in membership in all three churches brought the three denominations together again in 1928 an interdenominational venture, the North Community Church was born. The new congregation took up residence in the old Second Trinitarian Congregational Church building.  In 1951 an exchange of buildings with the Clift Rodgers Library provided the Church with a larger and more convenient parish hall. With the completion of Gilmore Hall in 1967, the buildings of the North Community Church took their current form.

Over the years it has been the church members looking to God for guidance who have made the decisions, carried out the plans, lived their beliefs, and ministered through their church. We have always been and continue to be a community venture.

In 1957, the Congregationalists merged with others on the national level to form the United Church of Christ. North Community Church accepted this affiliation while maintaining its independent status as a community church. By the end of the 1980s, the Baptist and Unitarian societies had disbanded, while the Congregational Trinitarian Society continued. The building erected by the Trinitarians in 1837 celebrated its 160th anniversary in 1997.  In 2007 North Community Church voted to become a full member of the United Church of Christ.

Today’s North Community Church is a congregation that includes members from many Christian denominations.  Through our outreach ministry, we promote ecumenical understanding and service through contributions to the Massachusetts Council of Churches and the Massachusetts Bible Society. On February 25, 2018, at a duly called congregational meeting, the Church voted to become an Open and Affirming Congregation within the United Church of Christ. See our welcoming statement→