First Congregational Church
The First Congregational Church was established in 1827 after attempts to establish a church in the center of Adams (once including North Adams under the name of East Hoosuck) failed. The church is located on Main Street in North Adams, near the intersection with Eagle Street.
Originally, the churchgoers met in a wooden meeting house that the congregation rented, as at its beginning, the church consisted of twenty two people: five men and seventeen women. The first minister, Reverend John W. Yeomans, served as pastor from 1827 to 1832 and raised $3,000 in donations from the church’s members in order to build a new church--a brick meeting house, as the church’s membership began to grow. However, the Congregation also outgrew the meeting house, which led to the construction of the church’s current building in 1863. Bricks from the 1827 meeting house were used in its construction.
Charles Edward Parker began construction of the First Congregational Church during 1863 and finished building in 1865. The church was constructed in the architectural form from the Romanesque Revival period; this can be seen in the church’s narrow elongated windows that are covered with wide stone arches, as well as its brick and stone construction, and the building’s slate, conical-shaped roof.
Congregationalists donated money towards the new building’s rose window and Tiffany windows. The Tiffany windows were large rectangular stained glass windows representing scenes from the gospels. They were donated as memorials dedicated to the church’s earliest members and most memorable ministers, and were located on the East and West walls. There were ten in total; however, all of the windows, excluding the rose window and one other, were sold in 2018 for $1.1 million, and are now on display in a museum in Texas. The church did manage to procure large-scale photographs that were taken by fine arts photographer Carin Quirke, and were hung in memory of the church’s past.
Today, the First Congregational Church's strong commitment to the North Adams community can be seen in its continuing services--hosting Boy Scouts meetings, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Berkshire Food Project. The church continues to be a stable institution, to the present day, with Sunday schooling, community service, and sermons.