1889: The Congregation Relocates to Linden Street

Postcard from Neale’s Variety Store in Needham, showing the new church on Linden Street.

By 1872, it was clear that the original chapel no longer met the needs of the growing congregation. The Evangelical Society began to debate building a new church building. Several very long meetings later, the Society voted to build a new church.  The vote capped construction costs at $15,000, and prevented work from beginning at all until at least $6,000 had been raised.

Fundraising began immediately.

Fourteen years and five pastors later, the lot at the corner of Linden Street and Great Plain Avenue was purchased for $1500 and work on the new church commenced under the pastoral guidance of the Rev. John F. Gleason.

The cornerstone for the new building was laid on October 29, 1887, and the church building itself was dedicated on May 29, 1889.

Total cost for the project was $15,841.11, only slightly more than the cap the Evangelical Society had set fourteen years earlier.

Program from the May 29, 1889 Church dedication

Order of Service from the May 29, 1889 dedication.

Source: The History of the Evangelical Congregational Church of Needham, Massachusetts as compiled by Edmund W. Trowbridge, Church Historian, 1957.

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