United Church of Christ

1860 to 1900

Rev.Elias Brewster Hillard

Rev. Elias Brewster Hillard was installed on May 16, 1860. He graduated from Yale in 1848 and the Andover Theological Seminary in 1854. A very energetic person, he was known as the “war minister” of Kensington. Upon learning that Fort Sumter had been fired upon, he set aside his prepared sermon and delivered a spirited patriotic service that was talked about in town for weeks. It was during his tenure that the first Civil War monument was erected. He preached an historical discourse on the one hundredth fiftieth anniversary of the church and made additions to local historical research. The church and Sunday school were united during his stay. He resigned on February 27, 1867

Rev. Alfred Tileston Waterman
1869 - 1874

On June 23, 1869 Rev. Waterman, a graduate of Princeton and Yale, was installed. He had been active in many parishes in New England and the West. He was the first minister to occupy the present parsonage. In spite of discouraging circumstances, his ministry was considered very acceptable. He resigned June 15, 1874. It should be noted that the photograph of Rev. Waterman was taken by photographer Mathew Brady. His signature appears in the lower right hand corner of the image. 

Rev. James Bradford Cleaveland
1875 - 1879

Rev. Cleveland was a graduate of Yale Divinity School and was installed September 1, 1875. In his earlier days, he was a zealous friend of the slave, and would never compromise with evil. The first Church Manual, issued in 1877, was prepared in his time and under his direction. He took a lively interest in every commendable enterprise. He resigned on July 1, 1879

Rev. Cornelius Wortendyke Morrow
1879 - 1882

The stay of Rev. Cornelius Wortendyke Morrow was only three years long, but his devoted spirit made an impression here as everywhere he lived. He was a graduate of Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. On March 5, 1880, after a period of 40 years, he was able to get the church debt free. During his time the church was painted and the parsonage renovated. He was of notable benefit to the Africans among us. He came October 1, 1879, and resigned April 10, 1882.

Rev. Arthur J. Benedict
1882 - 1889

Pastor Arthur J. Benedict was installed October 1, 1882. He organized the first Christian Endeavor in Connecticut. Everyone, young and adult, went to Sunday school, perhaps replacing the afternoon service. There were 124 members. The second extensive renovation of the church began in 1883. Pews were changed from square ones to the ones we have today, windows were recessed, the plaster in the ceiling was covered, a chandelier was installed, dirt was excavated and a furnace installed in the cellar, the organ was moved downstairs with part of the balcony removed to make room for it, and another part of the balcony was enclosed to make a room called the vestry room. In 1884 the first Harvest Festival was held. He began the Church Record, a monthly newspaper. He resigned on April 18, 1889.

Rev. Henry Learned Hutchins
1889 - 1892

Rev. Hutchins spent three years here, a happy period in his interesting life. Another man with a Yale education, he graduated in 1873. Most of his experience was in the distant West. After many years of missionary work, he came here, where he did “the most successful work of his life”. He made a map of the parish dividing it into districts for neighborhood prayer meetings, which were very successful. He was installed June 1, 1889, and resigned May 1, 1892

Rev. William ‘Magee’ Pratt
1892 - 1896

Rev. Pratt was an Englishman who had espoused the cause of reform for National Education; the first lecturer of the Peace Society, he appeared in many English cities and every reform hall in London. He was installed October 11, 1892. Noteworthy here was his work among the Italian people employed at the brickyards. He resigned October 28, 1896.

Rev. William Bodle Tuthill
1897 - 1899

Rev. Tuthill was ordained here on October 26, 1897, and spent only two years. The beneficial effect of his forceful up building and strengthening work for the church is still felt today. He resigned November 26, 1899.