Ledyard Congregational Church is blessed to have such a long congregational history. The table below lists our pastors and the years they have served us. The rows in boldface indicate “settled”, aka., long-term, pastors. The rest are either interim ministers or documented guest preachers.
Q: Who was the first pastor?
A: It depends–does a temporary pastor count? Samuel Seabury was a temporary preacher, hired in 1725. But Ebenezer Punderson was the first settled pastor, hired in 1729.
In January 1726, the new North Groton (now Ledyard) Ecclesiastical Society (predecessors of our current LCC Ecclesiastical Society) began meeting. They hired the first of a series of temporary preachers, recent Harvard graduate Samuel Seabury. He was hired to preach for ten Sundays in private homes. Over the next few years, a meetinghouse was begun and a permanent, or “settled,” minister was hired in 1729. This was Ebenezer Punderson, who left the North Groton Church in 1734 and established what is now St. James Episcopal Church in Preston.
|Pastor||From||To||Photo and Notes|
|Samuel Seabury||1725||1726||A recent Harvard graduate, Mr. Seabury was neither ordained nor licensed when he preached here. He was hired to preach for 10 weeks. His father was John Seabury, a Deacon of the Groton church. The famous Bishop Samuel Seabury, Jr. was the son of this Samuel Seabury, born several years after this time.|
|Andrew Croswell||1736||1746||or 1736 -1748|
|Timothy Tuttle||1810||1864||Timothy Tuttle was born in East Haven Nov 29, 1781 into a large family of moderate means. He had to work his way through Yale, where he studied theology. Rev. Tuttle came to preach to both Groton area churches (now known as Ledyard and Groton) in 1810. His starting salary was paid by both churches: “$450 Dollars & his Wood found, or $500 Dollars & find himself Wood.” He worked for both until 1834, when he asked to be relieved of duties for South Groton. Two years later, the town of Ledyard was incorporated.
Rev. Tuttle organized the first Sabbath School for young people (he later claimed this was the first in the entire country). Rev. Tuttle continued to preach each Sabbath, until within three weeks of his death on June 6, 1864. He had served as a pastor and leader for 54 years.
During Rev. Tuttle’s tenure here, the Town of Ledyard was established (1836), and some years later, the church name was changed from North Groton Church to Ledyard Congregational Church.
|Nehemiah B. Cook||1860||1868||Son-in-law of Rev. Tuttle, Nehemiah Cook began to assist the aging minister in the pulpit in 1860.|
|William J. White||1908||1914|
|Giles F. Goodenough||1914||1926|
|Ralph Krout||1927||1928||Seminary student|
|Nelson Schlegel||1928||1929||Seminary student|
|Edward P. Kelly||1929||1933|
|Frank B. Loper||1933||1937|
|Loring D. Chase||1939||1944|
|Earl F. Mathewson||1944||1948|
|John B. Schoning||1949||1953|
|Hubert F. Leach||1953||1959|
|John D. Mowrey||1960||1963|
|Joseph A. Porter||1963||1966|
|Frederic E. Reynard||1967||1984|
|Mary Larson ne. Brown||1996||2008|