Our Church History

A brief history of The First United Methodist Church of Westborough.

Our Church History


Church on Milk Street
  • The Methodist services began as early as 1798 yet it was not until two men dreamed of a church in Westborough that our first church was organized on January 5, 1858. Several classes converged with several other nearby classes and the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded.
  • The services in Westborough were led by Pastors from local towns. Services were held in a room over the old bowling alley, and later a lower room of the High School, with rent @ $1.25/wk. for Sunday services, $.50 for weeknight meetings.
  • The members desired a Pastor of their own so applied to the conference for a preacher. With 2 generous pledges providing funds, Rev. Joseph Cromack, from Shrewsbury, was hired as Pastor for $500/year. Sunday school was organized with an average attendance of fifty people and books were purchased for the Sunday school and church library. A Ladies Benevolent Society was also formed.
  • The first permanent home for the Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1864 on Milk Street, built on the site known as the Ice House lot. It was built alongside the railroad tracks which ran parallel.
  • Near the turn of the century, the Trustees were approached by the Grange to buy the church and parsonage. With all debts and mortgages paid off, church members had $1600 to put toward a new church. Meanwhile, membership at the Advent Church on Church Street was declining so the church was offered to us, as well as the parsonage located at the back. “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord”.
12 Church Street


  • January 1900 was dedication week as the First Methodist Church moved onto 12 Church Street. The Pastor moved into the parsonage and members met to envision how they wanted to make the church more welcoming.
  • Church funds were spent on architects as the entrance was small. One architect recommended the chapel, which had been built with its narrow side parallel to Church Street, be turned to allow room for a vestry in the front. Architects drew up their plans, and a construction company was hired. Young men at the church did digging, as many had no money to give so they gave their time. The outside of the church was brown and remained brown until 1920 when it was painted white.
Coldwell House
  • Many improvements occurred over the years. In 1948 members began to excavate the basement to make a large room for Sunday School, for suppers and other large gatherings. The room was called Hayward-Harding Hall for the two pastors who were there at its beginning and completion. The Bishop came to its dedication on Feb 27th, 1953 and the ladies served a fine banquet from the newly renovated kitchen.
  • In November 1957, the house on the corner of Church St & Grove St., owned by the Mason family, was purchased after the church received a large gift from Mr. Coldwell of Framingham. The Coldwell House was used for the Pastor’s study, Sunday school classes and the nursery. The following year, 1958, the church celebrated its one hundredth anniversary with a Centennial Celebration which included a reception for the whole town at the Coldwell House.
Congregation at 12 Church St
  • In 1960, the church labeled it the “Year of Missions” with mission study classes, and emphasis on missions throughout the year. The budget allowed for a secretary, a typewriter and a Minister of Youth, J. Robert Uhler. Rev. George M. Webb was also appointed.
  • Methodism was growing in Westborough and the majority of members voted to relocate and build a new church and educational facilities. A building committee was formed and viewed over 20 sites before buying 120 West Main St. from the Hardy family.
  • In Feb 1966, two hundred people gathered for the final service at 12 Church St.
  • In 1966, the Masonic Siloam Lodge purchased 12 Church St and the parsonage. For the next 2.5 years, services were held at the Unitarian Church and Congregational Parkman Chapel, and Sunday School was held at the Coldwell House and the Unitarian Parish House. The church rented the parsonage until 1 Jennings Rd was purchased.

1968- Present

120 W Main St before rennovation
  • At the 1968 groundbreaking of 120 West Main St, Bishop James K. Mathews said: “....may you build in hope and joy as fellow laborers with the Lord. Every generation of Christians should have an opportunity to build a church. This is not possible for everyone, but it may be for all, an experience of growth in Christian discipleship and service. As you build your church, may you become the church in a fuller and more meaningful way.”
  • 1968 also marked the merger of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Churches, the largest Protestant merging ever, making all Methodist Churches, United Methodist.
  • The first church service was held on July 27, 1969. Since the 1970’s, Westborough has become more of a transient community with many families moving in and out of church membership. A lot of talented and devoted Christians spent only a few years in Westborough but still left FUMC a better place for having been a part of our church family.
  • In 1988, the Methodist Preschool opened and continues to serve area families.
Our New Entrance
  • During the 1990’s there was significant growth again in membership, church programs and staff. Pastor Ned Watts set out to expand the church sanctuary, entrance, and parking. It took 20 years and many dedicated members for the next set of improvements to occur.
  • In 2014, a preliminary building committee prayerfully considered scope, funding and architects. By 2017, “Our Time to Build'' subcommittees addressed the church’s needs. The groundbreaking was held in June 2019.
  • The Taylor Atrium was dedicated in October 2021 named in honor of Pastor John Wesley Taylor. The new accessible entrance is welcoming to all.
  • July 1, 2022, we welcomed Pastor Lisa Bruget-Cass to First United Methodist Church. She is our first female Sr. Pastor following 46 prior appointed Pastors.
  • A full pictorial history of Pastors is located in the back of the sanctuary.