Rev. George Porter, in his anniversary
sermon, sketches the history and growth of this church in the following
The first town meeting of which we
have any positive knowledge, was held on the 30th day of May, 1771.
This was ten years after the first settlers began to occupy the town, and
when the resident families were 25 in number. When and in what number
the inhabitants were formed into a church, the town records say not; but
the American Quarterly Register states that Rev. Nicholas Dudley, born
at Epping, N.H., graduated at Harvard College in 1767, was ordained at
Townshend, Vt., June 21, 1777, and was dismissed in 1780; thus laboring
between two and three years. In August, 1794, Rev. Samuel Cheever,
D. D., received a call to this church, and remained until 1797.
From 1797 the church was supplied by Rev. Hezekiah Taylor, J. Bennington,
and Mr. Whitney, neighboring ministers. Mr. Josiah Moulton received
a call, remaining about a year. After Mr. Moulton, the next pastor
of the church was Simeon Snow, about one year. Rev. William Riddell
was born at Coleraine, Mass., Feb. 4,
1778; graduated at Dartmouth in 1793;
and was licensed to preach at Newbury, Vt., in January, 1794. He
remained in Townshend about three years. He married a daughter
of Rev. Samuel Hopkins in 1797, by whom he had seven children, one of who
was the well-known Rev. Samuel Hopkins Riddell.
The church was supplied by ministers
from neighboring towns until March, 1815.
L. Whitcomb, ordained and installed
Aug. 29, 1815; died in Savannah, Georgia, January 2, 1821.
was ordained and installed Nov. 21, 1821; dismissed July 6, 1824.
James Kimball, ordained and installed Jan. 13, 1825; dismissed Oct. 6,
1830. H.N. Graves, ordained and installed Feb. 5, 1833; dismissed
Sept. 14, 1848.
John Wood came Jan. 1849, settled June, 1850; dismissed
Apr. 11, 1854. Remained as pastor till Nov. 11, 1858.
ordained and installed Dec. 22, 1859; dismissed Oct. 15, 1866. A.S.Barton,
installed Mar. 12, 1867; dismissed Dec. 13, 1869. F.W. Olmstead, acting
pastor; called June 13, 1870; resigned Oct.,
1872. George Porter, acting
pastor; called July 1,
1877; resigned Oct. 1882. H.H.Acterian, acting pastor;
called July 1, 1883,
1891, present pastor,