The Congregational Church of Chicopee Falls, MA
The First Congregational Church of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was the first settled church in what would eventually grow into the booming industrial, farming, and mill city of Chicopee. Two hundred fifty years ago, forty-nine Chicopee men petitioned the First Congregational Church of Springfield, proposing the establishment of a separate church in Chicopee as a Fifth Parish of Springfield. When their petition was denied, they took the case to the Massachusetts General Court, which granted them the right to build.
In 1751, forty men entered the woods and cut the timber required to build Chicopee's very first meeting house. The first minister was Rev. John McKinstry, who was ordained in 1752 and died Nov. 9 1813.
As the church grew, on May 12, 1824, the cornerstone of our present building was laid. The work was completed in 1826, and a grand celebration was held on January 4th of that year. The new and present building is a beautiful, typical New England white Congregational Church, with a balcony above the narthex, choir lofts on the first floor, to the left and right of the pulpit, and a steeple flanked by a huge fish-shaped weathervane.
Some say that this new meetinghouse was part of the underground railway that ran through Chicopee during the days of the Civil War.
Rev. Asa Wright Mellinger was a Pastor at this Church from the 1940s to 1976.