On June 3, 1811, the Unitarian Church voted at a parish meeting to build a steeple to their meeting house for a bell. The bell was made by Paul Revere & Son and it cost $407.69. It weighed 960 lbs. On November 15, 1811, it was in place and was rung for the first time. The church records say it was the first church bell ever rung in Needham. It is still ringing today.
A long time ago Needham heard many bells; school bells, fire bells, fire engine bells and train bells. Now only the church bells ring. The oldest bell hangs in the belfry of the First Parish Church. Made by Paul Revere it rang in 1811 to celebrate the town’s one hundredth birthday. Fire bells no longer ring. They go moo-o-o and fire engines go woo-woo. The last fire bell now sits on the lawn of the Needham Historical Society. This shows one of the ways Needham has changed.
The Congregational Church started in1857. The religion is Christian. The church denomination is United Church of Christ.
The First Baptist Church started in 1859. It is on Great Plain Avenue.
The Carter Memorial United Methodist Church started in 1867. The religion is Methodist. Its name used to be Carter Memorial Church but it was changed when they rebuilt it in 1950 to the Carter Memorial Methodist Church. It was named in recognition of the generous gifts of the descendents of William Carter.
Saint Joseph's Church is a big church located on the corner of Highland Avenue and May Street. It started in 1890. It is a Catholic church. The most recent church was built in 1966. One interesting fact is that until 1965, no marriages took place in this church. After November 28, 1965, they were able to have marriages at St. Joseph's Parish.
The Christ Episcopal started in 1898. The religion is Episcopal.
The First Church of Christ Scientist is Christian Science Church. It is at 870 Great Plain Avenue, right next to the Baptist Church. In 1902 it held its first services in Needham in a room in the town hall. They purchased land in 1912 on Great Plain Avenue, and the church's first service was held on Thanksgiving in 1919.
Saint Bartholomew Church is located on Greendale Avenue. It is a Roman Catholic church. It started in 1952.
The Presbyterian Church, at 1458 Great Plain Avenue, originally came from Boston. They moved to Needham in 1957 and worshipped at the Congregational Church for 2 years until they could move into their own church on October 25, 1959. The Taiwanese Presbyterian Church also worships there.
Grace Lutheran Church is at 543 Greendale Avenue. They sometimes have their services at Perry Park!
Temple Aliyah began in 1964 and is a conservative temple. The religion of Temple Aliyah is Judiasm. Temple Aliyah began as a dream of ten men that got together in one person's home to discuss beginning a Conservative synagogue in Needham.
Good Shephard Christian Fellowship Church is located at 754 Greendale Avenue. It begin in May of 1992.
Picture of some of the churches
Kathleen Martell, Instructional Technology Specialist
Needham Public Schools, Needham MA