Church in Londonderry First of Many

Sep 20, 2011 No Comments by

This article was written by Connie Cole, a long-time member of the Londonderry Presbyterian Church, and current church librarian and historian.

The Londonderry Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) is the oldest institution in Londonderry and the oldest Presbyterian Church still in existence in New England today. Scottish-Irish immigrants from Londonderry, England settled here in 1719 and organized the first Presbyterian church in what we now know as Nutfield. In 1735, 40 of these families were given permission to establish a Presbyterian Church in Londonderry.

The present sanctuary was built in 1837 (at a cost of just $4,000) and later remodeled in the 1890’s when the oak pews and decorative stain glass windows were installed. Some of the oldest members remembered sleeping in the church on Saturday nights to feed the wood stove for Sunday morning services! In 1974, the Parish Hall was added next to the church and the current manse (now the Avery Center) was built in 1944. In 1997 an extensive building project took place to make the church as it is today.

The church has continued through all this time to be faithful to the Word of God and according to our mission statement striving to be “an intergenerational congregation whose life together is based on Scripture and the teachings of Jesus Christ” with the desire to “nurture spiritual development and extend care, compassion, Christian education and service to the congregation, our community and the world.”

During the summer our worship service is held at 9:30. Beginning in September, our Sunday School classes start at 9:15 for all ages, children (toddlers to 1st and 2nd grades), youth (middle to high school) and adults. The worship service follows at 10:30.

Our outreach to the community includes Kindergarten by the Common, our church sponsored Christian preschool, and a variety of programs in the Avery Center .These include not only programs related to rehabilitation for alcohol and drug abuse, but also programs for families needing counseling for mental health issues, over eaters anonymous, and one especially geared for veterans with PTSD and/or substance abuse. These programs are supported by community organizations and have been well received by the community and the participants.

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About the author

Jacklynn has been a resident in Londonderry since the age of 5. She grew up in a quiet neighborhood and went through the great school system. She has fond memories of bike riding through town in the spring and summer, sledding in the winter, and apple and pumpkin picking in the fall. She now has children of her own and looks forward to raising them in the same town she enjoyed so much as a youth.
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