Atlantic News , October 14, 1999
HAMPTON – The First Congregational Church, located on Winnacunnet Road Hampton, is pleased to announce that the Reverend Deborah B. Knowlton will be installed as the pastor of New Hampshire’s oldest continuously meeting church family. Her arrival at the Hampton church marks the beginning of a new era of outreach, expansion and a continuing family focus.
Reverend Knowlton, a Winnacunnet High School graduate who holds degrees from UNH and Andover Newton Theological School, will be formally installed in a special service at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 24. The public is invited to attend.
Her experience spans more than 22 years, and includes pastorates in Connecticut, and in the New Hampshire communities of Dover, Franklin, and Manchester. The church enjoys the benefit of her thoughtful approach to people and conspicuous talent in the pulpit.
Deborah and her husband, Geoffrey Knowlton, have two teenaged children, Sarah and Daniel.
The first Congregational Church of Hampton enjoys a rich history of worship and service that began in the year 1638. They are the second oldest continuously meeting congregation in the United States, and the oldest in the state. This is a Christ-centered church, with a growing faith, an inviting faith, and a serving faith.
Church membership is approximately 250 adults and 50 children. The congregation enjoys a cultural and theological diversity. Members govern the church with the assistance of the paid staff and elected boards. They are affiliated with the United Church of Christ.
The congregation comes together for worship each Sunday morning. Children remain in the sanctuary for the first 20 minutes of service, and then leave for church school. Nursery is provided for the entire service, and a large observation window allows people of all ages the option to enjoy worship from outside the sanctuary.
Members are invited to participate in the service through Scripture reading, hymn singing and a fine music program that includes voice and bell choirs for all ages and abilities.
The congregation actively reaches out to the local and world communities through a missions program that is remarkably large, diverse and effective. A busy calendar of events offers many activities, including weekly and holiday worship, counseling, Bible studies, men’s and women’s fellowship groups, youth groups, Sunday school, a prayer chain, and local and world mission projects.
For more information about the First Congregational Church, please call 926-2837, during the week between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.