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Our History

Somewhere around 1660, settlers began to inhabit the area of Lakenham, or North Carver which was part of Plympton.  Taxes were used to support the congregational Puritan church there.  In 1732 a church building was erected near the Lakenham Cemetery, where the Plympton preacher periodically would conduct worship services.  Eventually the Congregational Church was established in North Carver.  In the 1740’s some worshippers began to follow the baptistic principles of Roger Williams and for the next 50 years Baptists and Congregationalists worshipped together at the North Carver Church, though not always agreeing on matters of doctrine and polity.

Many of the folks who favored the Baptist approach lived in the region known as South Meadow, or Center Carver.  In 1791 they made a decision to establish their own church.  They opened their new church building on Main St. in 1824, having met for a number of years first in homes, and later in the South Meeting House, located just south of Savery Avenue.  In 1823 a fire destroyed the old Congregational Church building and for a time they met in King Philip’s Hall on the south side of the Lakenham Green.  They moved into their new building on the north side of the green in 1858.Meetings were held over several years, primarily in homes and schoolhouses in the region of South Carver, where the teachings of John Wesley were discussed.  In 1831 a group formally organized themselves as Methodist.  Initially they met near Huckleberry Corner, but as the area of South Carver began to grow, meetings were held in a converted store front in that part of town in 1894.  The Methodists moved into their new church building on Church St. in 1896.

All three churches carried out their respective ministries faithfully.  Times were not always easy and each of the churches struggled with the challenges of maintaining building, finding and keeping pastors, and serving the needs of the community.  In the late 1960’s lay people from the three churches began to explore the idea of uniting.  Representatives from the three denominations began meeting with a committee formed from the three churches, and ultimately decided to form the United Parish.  What started as a single church, grew to three, and ultimately re-united.

In 1970 Rev. Robert Merritt was called as the first pastor.  Bob served for 26 years, uniting the three groups into one.  Rev. Charles Syverson followed in 1997 and served for the next ten years, building on what had been started.  Rev. Bruce Bardon began his ministry at the church in 2008.  The essence of the United Parish is captured in the motto we try to live out: “We agree to differ, resolve to love, unite to serve.”


Ministry Team 


Rev. Bill Ketchum, Pastor
Jenn Toomey, Administrator 
Judy Sirrico, Organist
Jack Angley, Choir Director
Doreen Marando, Sexton
Charlie Preston, Lay Reader
Rev. Robert Merritt, Pastor Emeritus
Rev. Dr. Charles Syverson, Pastor Emeritus
Patty Berry, Community Outreach Minister