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Main Street, showing Baptist and Congregational Church, Shelburne Falls, Mass.
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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These two churches differ stylistically as well as theologically. Built first, the wood-framed and clapboarded Congregational Church follows closely the classical style typically used for small New England churches. The Baptist Church, completed just a year later on the site of an earlier church, mimics the Congregational Church but is constructed of brick giving it a gothic feel. The two face off across Main Street in a battle for strength, membership and salvation.
<BR>In 1851 the Congregationalists in Shelburne Falls established their own place of worship. It was named the Second Congregational Church because the First was in neighboring Shelburne. This church was very popular and grew steadily; by 1900 it had 200 members. The brick Baptist Church was built in 1852, replacing a smaller one built in 1833 on the same site. Many Baptists moved to Shelburne Falls in the early 19th century to work in the town's growing industries. The Baptist Church was built on a carefully chosen site, close enough to the Deerfield River to perform baptisms in it.
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