Church parsonage’s history recalled as sale proceeds

The Newton Highlands Congregational Church, UCC, parsonage — at 39 Forest Street — has a storied past, and is destined to have a wonderful future, integrated in a community with history and activity. From the Civil War to the civic needs of Newton Highlands, Dr. Charles Henry Newhall — the builder of this property — was an activist, donor, and deacon. Born in 1838, he served the officers and the vision of the Union Army as a large animal veterinarian. He thereby helped to preserve the Union. In 1895 he built his home on a large lot so that he and his sister could live together. The three-floor carriage house they built had horse stalls, room for pigs and cows and, of course, room for two carriages.

The home itself has several bedrooms, a morning room, large public spaces, beautiful French doors, and a view of all the woods and trees that surround it from each room.

As an active member and leader at NHCC — then a very young parish — and without heirs of his own, Dr. Newhall bequeathed the property to the church in 1921, “for the use of the pastor and the church.” His faith in God and his faith in this parish were both a living blessing.

For 101 years the parsonage has been just that: a blessed home for pastors and their families, and a welcoming space for church parties, meals, gatherings, and meetings.

When this property sells, the proceeds will fund pastor’s housing expenses nearby, church mission commitments, and the continuing commitments to the union, the community, and the future needs of our vibrant Christian congregation, in dialogue with those of many faiths, in the Highlands neighborhood.

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