The Kensington Separation
From The Hampton Falls Church
The first meeting-house was erected about one-half mile north of the old burying-ground. It was removed, however, to the present site of the town-house before it was finished. The second house was built on the same spot in 1771, and remained till 1846, when it was taken down and the town-house built in its place. The third meeting- house was built by the united labors of different denominations, near the old one, in 1839.
Fifty-seven persons were dismissed from the church in Hampton Falls, October 4, 1737, "to incorporate at Kensington."[H.F. chh.rec.] Two days later, fourteen persons. including the pastor elect, were dismissed from the old church in Hampton, for the same purpose, and the church was organized the same day, October 6, 1737. Rev. Jeremiah Fogg was ordained November 23, of the same year, the pastors of Hampton and Hampton Falls assisting on the occasion. Mr. Fogg's ministry continued more than fifty years. The greater part of it appears to have been peaceful and acceptable; but near the close of his life some ecclesiastical difficulties arose, which led to the calling of several councils, and Mr. Fogg was dismissed in September, 1789. Shortly afterward, he died and was buried in the old cemetery in Kensington. His gravestone bears this inscription: "In Memory of the Rev. Jeremiah Fogg, A.M. who died Dec. 1, 1789, in the 78th year of his age and the 52nd of his Ministry. 'Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.'" [See Genealogies—Fogg (9).]
After Mr. Fogg's death, the people of Kensington continued in a divided state for several years; but united at length in a call to Rev. Naphtali Shaw, who was ordained and settled June 30, 1793, and continued pastor almost twenty years, when, on account of ill health, he was dismissed January 13, 1813, and Rev. Nathaniel Kennedy, a Scotchman by birth, but said to have come from Ireland, was installed pastor the same day. He was dismissed July 1, 1816, and died in Philadelphia in 1843 or '44.
Rev. Joseph A. E. Long was the next stated preacher, closing a two years' connection with the church in 1823. At a later period, he returned for a short time. The church covenant was revised, during Mr. Shaw's ministry and again by. Mr. Long. Afterward, the Unitarian form was adopted. The pulpit was supplied by occasional preachers, till a union was formed with the Unitarian society of Hampton Falls in 1841.