Way Back When... 1863
The Noroton Presbyterian Church was organized on Nov. 4, 1863.
According to the church’s own history on that date a commission from the Presbytery of New York formally organized the new church with appropriate ceremonies. It was called the First Presbyterian Church of Darien.
“There were 21 charter members; 16 women and 5 men. Benjamin Weed was one of two elders and would become the clerk of Session, the superintendent of the Sunday School and the secretary of the trustees for the next 46 years. The Rev. Coleman was chosen as pastor and was installed on March 6, 1864,” reads the history.
According to the church history, the early years are tough for the church.
“Numbers were few, funds were scarce, and as time went on, there were long spans without a resident minister. But the church carried on. The original record books show that the Session (then composed of three or four members) met regularly to consider the spiritual and moral welfare of the congregation; and the Trustees met regularly to care for the physical and financial needs of the church,” reads the church history.
In 1897 a Sunday School and social rooms at the rear of the church were built for $2,000.
“Eventually the town grew and the church membership grew, and more space was needed if the church was to adequately serve its function in the community, and especially to care for the increasing numbers of children in the Church School,” the history reads.
In 1939, a parish house was built for $15,000 and some thought that plan was too ambitious.
In 1953 a new sanctuary was completed for $400,000.
The church grew in the 1960s to include more than 2,200 members, according to the history.
“Today we number over 1,600 members and we are still the largest PCUSA church in New England,” reads the piece.
A full history of the church can be found at norotonchurch.org/