Resulting from the merger of two historic churches , the Congregational and the Methodist-Episcopal, the Hudson Community Church was registered with the State of New Hampshire in April 1930. Prior to this date meetings were held by each of the two churches in order to discuss and approve the plan to merge as set forth by a joint committee. The newly formed Hudson Community Church selected the church building of the Methodist-Episcopal (aka the brick church) on Central Street and the parsonage house of the Congregational Church located at 31 Library Street. The Congregational Building (aka the white church) was sold t to Hudson Grange; the Methodist-Episcopal parsonage on Baker Street was sold to members of the Baker Family. The Community Church continued to use the organ from the Methodist-Episcopal church which had been recently installed and dedicated in 1924. Later, in 1950, a new Skinner 2-manual organ was installed and dedicated. At the same time, renovations were made to the sanctuary and the chancel in order to accommodate the organ. This occurred during the pastorate of Rev Arnold Tozer.
In 1937, under the Pastorate of Rev Stanley Anderson, the Community Church organized and hosted the 200th anniversary of the formation of the first church in Hudson. This was a joint celebration between the Baptist Church and the Community Church: Celebrating 200 years of established religious services in town through the Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists. Dr. Henry O. Smith presented an historical sketch at this anniversary. A copy of this speech, in his original handwriting, is on file at the Historical Society.
Hudson Players, the dramatic club of the Hudson Community Church, was organized by a group of church members interested in producing and presenting stage plays. During the years to come this group prepared and presented at least 8 different productions. The first was “Ghost Train”. At one time this group had as many as 63 members. Initially an auditorium with a stage was rented offsite for these presentations. The group looked forward to an opportunity to have a parish house where these plays could be presented in-house. Such an opportunity started to become reality in December 1953 when the church voted to start a financial campaign to raise $60,000 for a new parish house. A Building Committee under the chairmanship of Grant Jasper was established.
Parish House Completed
By April of the following year the goal was met and the construction phase for the parish house began. Plans called for a chapel, assembly room with a stage, 7 class rooms, and a kitchen. By December of 1955 work was completed and the new parish house, as shown in this week’s photo, was dedicated. The project was begun under the pastorate of Rev Norman Jimerson and completed under pastorate of Rev Lawrence Vincent. Later, in May of 1961 the chapel was dedicated tot he memory of long time organist Marion Joy.
The exterior of the church building remained much the same until 2012 when a handicap ramp was constructed and dedicated to the memory of John Goes by his friends and family. Again, early in January 2016 the front and interior of the parish house was extensively damaged when a car crashed into and through the plate glass window. The driver of the car was not insured; the church and community met the challenge of repairing this damage.
Celebration Service February 12
As of this writing, the new window(s) and associated renovations to the parish hall have been completed. The church, under the leadership of their current Pastor, Rev Patti Gerry-Karajames, will hold a Celebration Service on Sunday February 12, 2017 at 11:00am with an Open House immediately following. Many historical items and documents from these historic churches will be on display. You are all invited to attend.
These photos are from the Historical Society collection. The first shows the ‘brick church’ with the Parish House. This photo was taken about 1975 in preparation for the Town in Transition. The second shown the redesigned and recently completed Parish House window.