The First Parish of Needham

Children delight in stories of the history of the First Parish Church. Its erection sparked the Needham-Wellesley rivalry. Both secteions of town (Wellesley was part of Needham then) wanted the church built close to them. Men from the east parish (Needham) tricked the west parish (Wellesely) townsmen and started builing the church ahead of time.

The First Parish Church was founded in 1711. On June 3, 1811, the town's 100th birthday the church bought a bell, made by Paul Revere, for $407.69. The bell weighs 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.



The Paul Revere Bell is still ringing today. Every Sunday it rings at 10:30 a.m. and sometimes at weddings or funerals. The Paul Revere bell is located in the bell tower. You can hear the bell ringing better from outside the church than inside the church. It was moved in1837 from the old center at Nehoiden Street to the new center of town. Today it is the Unitarian-Universalist church.


Needham's Paul Revere's bell.

The Unitarian Church today in Needham Center.



Paul Revere made the bell that is in the First Parish Church (now the Unitarian Church).

Kathleen Martell, Instructional Technology Specialist
Needham Public Schools, Needham MA
March 2006