Darlington Congregational Church History
Darlington Congregational Church grew out of a
small chapel ministry established in the Darlington section of what is now Pawtucket in the late 1880’s. It was called
the Union Mission Sunday School because of the diverse sectarian backgrounds of people in the surrounding neighborhoods: Methodist,
Baptist, Congregational, and Universalist. A small chapel was built to accommodate the ministry and a rapidly growing Sunday
school in 1881.
In 1901, Pawtucket Congregational Church was interested
in build a second Sunday school in the area, and for a time there were enough children to support both the Mission Sunday
School and the new branch of the Pawtucket church. Two years later, the two ministries merged under Congregational auspices.
The Congregational Church bought the chapel and began serving as its mother church.
chapel ministry grew rapidly and in 1907, a new church, Darlington Congregational Church was built on the site of the existing
structure, which formed what are now the offices and Sunday school rooms of the existing building.
In the laying of the cornerstone for the new church, Rev. Gideon A. Burgess said that the new church "stands
positively four-square for the salvation of Jesus Christ through grace as first, foremost and fundamental...In advancing the
Kingdom of Heaven there must be added...a resolute faith in God, a deeply human love for men and a profound consciousness
of constraining love of Christ which makes the Christian ever anxious to be instant in seas and our of season to do His Master’s
will. May the work in Darlington go conquering and to conquer".
its birth in 1908, Darlington Congregational Church grew steadily. By 1912, the membership had grown to 143 people and with
250 enrolled in the Sunday School. Many souls would also be won for God’s Kingdom: Evangelistic meetings were held in
the community, and by 1919 membership increased greatly with 220 members and 163 baptisms. Unable to hold the overflowing
offerings, deeper baskets replace shallow plates, and the communion offering became the Deacon’s Fund, for assistance
to people in need.
By the 1950’s, the original church was a busy
place and filled to overflowing. In 1954, for example, 919 people attended Easter services. It was then that a building committee
was formed, and the present sanctuary was added in 1956.
the years, has placed great emphasis on the faithful preaching and teaching of God's Word, evangelism and missions, and in
living personal lives that reflect the love of Christ.