The Congregational Christian Church

The dictionary defines Congregationalism as a system of organization among Christian churches whereby individual local churches are largely self-governing. Each Church is autonomous and self-governing and entirely free from external control. In Congregationalism there are no superintendents, bishops, popes, presbyteries, or national councils with any authority to dictate the policies, programs, finances, or other affairs of the individual Church.

Members hold equal power, all of them responsible to each other under the covenant that formed the basis of their life together. They hold to the Bible and belief in Jesus, but individual members have the full liberty of conscience in interpreting the Gospel and respect every person's honest religious convictions.

Congregational Christians believe deeply in God, in Jesus Christ, in the guiding of the Spirit of God, in prayer, in the worth of worship, in the value of the sacraments, and in the power of God to triumph over all that is evil.

Ministers are the chief spiritual leaders of the Church and normally preach, teach, counsel, preside at the Lord's Supper, Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Burial, and other special services of the church.

West Fairlee Center Congregational Church

A very small congregation founded the Church in 1809. Before the first meeting house was built, services were often held in the home of Nathaniel Niles, one of the founders and spiritual leader. The present Church was built in 1855 a typical New England Church, beautiful in its simplicity inside and out. Each pew has always held a Bible and Hymnal used in the Sunday Service.The following is a typical Order of Worship.

Sunday Service Order of Worship


Prelude refers to a piece of music that is played immediately before the beginning of a service. A musical prelude is often played by an organist or other instrumentalists. The prelude may reflect the theme, liturgical season, or occasion of the day. Many musical preludes have been based on hymn tunes.

CALL TO WORSHIP & WELCOME (Minister or Church Leader)


Often hymns are chosen that support the theme of the sermon and/or the season.


Responsive reading is the alternate reading of a text between the minister or church leader and the rest of the congregation.


The short hymn “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

PRAYER (by pastor or worship leader)

SILENT PRAYER (congregation)


MUSIC (soloist or choir)



A doxology is a short hymn of praises: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen”


Chosen and read by the Minister in which the sermon is based on.


The sermon is the minister’s lesson of the day. The sermon, As A Man Thinks, was given by Reverend Leonard Capobianco is an example (click here). Sermons given Nathaniel Niles in 1774 are posted on Teaching American History.



A benediction is a short prayer for divine help, blessing, and guidance.