In the year 1894, laymen's meetings were carried on in the old schoolhouse on West Boylston Street for some months when Mr. Charles F Rice was appointed a committee of one to invite Rev WT Sleeper to act as pastor. Rev Sleeper preached his first sermon in July of that year. At a meeting on July 6, 1894, a committee drew up the following report, voted on it, and accepted it.
Believing that persons living in Greendale and vicinity desire to make provision for public worship, the religious instruction of children, and for social intercourse, commensurate with the growth and needs of this part of Worcester, in which all Christians of every name may feel free to unite on equal terms, the men and women of Greendale who would like to join in the formation of a union religious society, are invited to organize a union association for concerted Christian work.
On January 3, 1895, a Council was called for the purpose of recognition of Greendale People's Church, which consisted of ministers and laypeople representing several evangelical denominations in the area. The Council voted unanimously to recognize the Greendale People's Church as a Church of Christ's Kingdom. At an evening service on this date, forty-three persons comprising the new Church came forward and received the covenant, confessing Christ as their Lord and Savior. This Church was recognized as a corporation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 8, 1895. A lot was purchased for $800 at the corner of Francis St and Bradley Ave (now Leeds St) and on July 1, 1895, with the consent of the members, Rev WT Sleeper took upon himself the entire responsibility of raising funds and directing the construction of a new place of worship, agreeing to have the building completed in one year. The Church was erected on its present site and dedicated on April 26, 1896. Such was the inception of our Church and, under the leadership of 14 settled and 2 interim pastors, it has grown, making itself a part of the community.
Over the years, the physical structure of the church has changed. A tornado wiped out a significant part of the building, which had to be reconstructed. An addition was put on to increase the space for the use of the active congregation, and also for outside groups. In May 1963, the church under the direction of Rev Kenneth E Bath purchased and developed our camp/conference center, Selah, on Tully Pond in North Orange, MA.
Our congregation continues to seek to do God's work as a caring and sharing community church, committed to taking God's message beyond our own walls to wherever we find opportunities for witness, and in demonstrating by our lives and actions that Christ is relevant, meaningful, and a source of real hope in these challenging times.
Based on information "Celebrating 100 Years," with corrections and additions by
Joyce Brown and Janet Wheeler.