The following is a brief history of St. Paul's written by Sally Burt on the occasion of our 250th Anniversary. Much of the information is drawn from a much longer history written by Dr. Arthur Morton Worthington, on the occasion of our 150th Anniversary, with an update by Mr. Thomas E. Jansen, Jr. on the occasion of our 200th Anniversary. For those interested, the booklet containing this longer history can be found here.
St Paul’s began on July 12, 1758 when the frame of a wooden church (left) was raised in Dedham for a small band of about a dozen Church of England families. The church was made of rough boards, measured only 30 x 40 feet, and had no seats. Although the small band of Loyalists had been worshiping in houses in Dedham and Stoughton, the building of the church here was made possible by Samuel Colburn’s generous bequest of land for the founding of an Episcopal Church in Dedham. The new church was initially supported by Old North, Boston, Trinity Church, Boston, and Christ Church, Quincy, all Loyalist churches.
During the Revolutionary War, when Loyalist churches continued to offer prayers for the King, the rector in Dedham, the Rev. William Clark, and many members of the congregation were persecuted and the church was closed. It reopened in 1791 and the Rev. William Montague was called to serve as rector for 100 pounds sterling a year.