The History of Christian Faith in New England is rich and colorful. From the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 by a group of Puritan refugees to the revivals of The Great Awakening which began 100 years later and spread through the 13 colonies. The roots of faith run deep.
Westford Congregational Church’s roots can be traced back to the Great Awakening and the revival that began in Hampton Massachusetts in 1734. Born out of that culture of faith, the Westford Society was established in Brimfield, Massachusetts in 1765.
In 1768 the Westford Society erected its first church building in Brimfield then later dismantled it and moved to a site 20 miles away on the top of Westford Hill in Ashford, CT. The first minister to be called was Reverend Ebenezer Martin from Becket, Massachusetts and was installed on June 15, 1768. Westford Hill Congregational Church would become one of the first churches to be built in Ashford. Westford Hill stood through the Second Great Awakening of 1820 until 1844 when it was struck twice by lightning. Parishioners decided to dismantle the church yet again and rebuild to lower ground just down the road.
The new church was renamed Westford Congregational Church and opened it’s doors in 1846. After the end of the civil war in 1865, a Third Great Awakening began in Chicago in 1875. By the early 1900s the pulse of revival was being felt again in New England born through the preaching of men like Billy Sunday and carried forward by men like Billy Graham. In 1970, electricity was introduced to Westford Congregational Church and in 1977 a furnace replaced the old wood stove. This church stood until 1988 when it was destroyed by fire, leaving behind a few sacred artifacts including the church bell.
Plans were quickly made to design a new church building that allowed the church to remain vital and vibrant while serving an ever-changing world. The decision was make to include the traditional rectangular architecture with elements typical of the church meeting house of the 1800's. In 1989, Westford Congregational Church opened it's doors once again offering the community a place to worship. The design of the sanctuary is plain and simple with white walls and stained wood. The pews face forward toward the pulpit, inviting the congregation to focus their attention on the worship of God and the preaching of His word. Natural light fills the sanctuary through it’s many windows. A cross is built into the large window at the front of the sanctuary that overlooks the choir loft. The pulpit stands alone as a simple reminder of the reason we gather here.
Over the last 250 years, the church on Westford Hill Road has been called by different names. Many different pastors have preached in it’s pulpit. It has seen prosperous seasons of growth and unity and it has seen seasons of strife and decline. Through the years, the church's heart for prayer and it’s devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ have remained constant.
A season of change for WCC began in 2020 with the outbreak of Covid-19. Live-streaming of church services, leadership meetings via Zoom and prayer chains by texting are among the changes no one saw coming. In June of 2022 the church erected a new steeple and the old church bell charred by the fire was hung in the belfry. After that, the members voted unanimously to adopt a complete revision of the church’s manual and to call a new pastor to the pulpit.
On January 1, 2023 Rev. Steve Anderson retired and Matthew Grous was installed as Pastor of Westford Congregational Church. The church is committed to being a House of Prayer. Prayers for another Great Awakening can be heard on Sunday morning combined with songs of praise and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same prayers for unity in the church and the town, for the lost and hurting, for healing and victory echo those of the saints of the past. We are passionate about connecting with the community and growing in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.