On November 19, 1820, the first Protestant Church
of Presbyterian sect was organized by Reverend Jonithan
Leslie with eight members. On August 12, 1823, the "Articles
of Practice" consisting of seven articles was adopted.
The first house of worship was a log house – built
in 1818 and used by the township – on the north end of
the park. This building burned in 1828 and, in the spring
of 1829, an auxiliary society to the church was formed
and a lot nine rods square located thirty rods north
of the park on land now owned by the school was purchased
from George R. Emory. A building 40 by 52feet with fifteen-foot
posts was to be built if funds could be raised. It was
voted to sell the "sittings" by deed to cover
the estimated cost of $800. this house of worship was
used some twenty years.
In 1837,after the original church and the Society
had separated, a new building twenty-six by forty feet
was built by the Society on the southeast side of the
park where the Robison Company now stands. On the reunion
of the two groups, the new building was chosen as the
better of the two. The old building was sold in 1852
for $125, and the new one was used until 1860. In 1846
the Society purchased a house 22 by 28 feet and one and
one-half stories on a half-acre of land adjoining the
church lot at a cost of $300. In 1860 it was resolved
to build a thirty-six by fifty-two foot church with steeple.
This was completed with a chestnut interior audience
room accommodating 208 adults on fifty slips, a ten-foot
vestibule, a ten-foot gallery and a total cost of $1,800.
In 1864, Reverend H. B. Hall’s wife, Sophronia, succeeded
in soliciting $200 for a 518-pound bell. The church was
destroyed by fire on February 14, 1868.
In March, 1868, the Society voted to replace the church
and, with help from Methodists, Spiritualists and non-affiliated
persons and donations from Painesville ($100), Claridon
($38), the Congregational Union ($350), and the Ladies
Aid of the Thompson group ($200), the new building was
constructed at a cost of $4,000 with lumber and labor
as part of the donations. In 1872 Reverend C. E. Page
secured 103 pledges from area families in amounts ranging
from $.50 to $10 to replace the burned bell with one
weighing 920 pounds which cost, mounted, $501. In 1875,
repainted and debt-free, the church held ceremonies of
commemoration with Reverend W. D. Williams officiating.
Member families included: Strong, Moseley, Stockwell,
Benjamin, Leonard, Pomeroy and Daniels.
In the summer of 1876 the old parsonage was sold and
a new one built for $990 and in February, 1877, a call
as pastor was accepted by William T. Richardson who resigned
January 1, 1878 – disturbed by "an entertainment
given in the church by the young people for the benefit
of the Ladies Aid."
Subsequent pastors included: Darius Woodworth, F.
A. Valentine, D. T. Williams, H. A. N. Richards, George
Hill, Darius Woodworth (second time), J. B. Warner and
W. O. Town. During the tenure of Reverend Town, the Plymouth
Rock Converence held its fiftieth anniversary with the
Thompson Church. After his replacement, Reverend Newcomb,
decided to enter the missionary field, Reverend Town
returned and stayed until 1905, followed for a few months
by Reverend Leslie and Reverend F. Dann who served from
1906 until 1915. During his pastorate, in 1909, the name
was changed from the First Presbyterian Society to The
First Congregational Society of Thompson and the organization
In 1929, The Society of First Congregational
Church disbanded and the church property was sold. The
few remaining members found another church home – not
unmindful of the effort and sacrifice of the pioneers
who "rest from their labors, and their works do