Photo — Maine Congregational Conference, May 12–14, 1936
1771 — Rev. James Lyon began his ministry as the first Minister of the Gospel at Machias. The first settled minister east of the Penobscot River, Lyon was also the first writer of musical composition in English North America.
1772 — Three men and three women came together to form the first Protestant church in Machias. They met in a barn that stood directly opposite the present church site on Centre Street, and they first celebrated the Lord's Supper together on October 6.
1774 — The first church building was erected on a lot near the lower end of Lyon Street, where it enters Court Street. This "little brown church on the hill" served as the town hall, school, and courthouse. It was here that resisters to the British Crown planned the region's rebellious activities during the American Revolution.
1782 — Eleven years after Rev. Lyon launched his ministry in Machias, the church was officially organized.
1797 — A new church building was completed just east of the little brown church.
1826 to 1881 — Parishioners left to start Congregational churches in East Machias, Machiasport, Whitneyville, Jonesboro, and Marshfield.
1836 — Land was purchased from George Smith for $1,200, and the present church building was erected at a cost of $12,500. The neo-Gothic structure is attributed to Edward Shaw, a New England architect. The name, Centre Church, would later be changed to Centre Street Church.
1836 — Captain Stephen Longfellow visited Boston and obtained for the church a second-hand bell cast by Paul Revere. The bell, which still hangs in Centre Street's steeple, measures 33 inches high by 38 inches in diameter at the base.
1858 — A separate vestry was built on Cooper Street and used until 1886. Then Centre Street was lowered, allowing the church basement to be converted into a vestry.
1859 — An Organ Society was formed to raise funds to purchase an organ.
1865 — In the fall, the building caught on fire, but the fire department saved it from total destruction. Repairs were undertaken, and the building was rededicated the following year.
A tracker action organ, built by George Stevens of East Cambridge, was purchased for $2,300. Machias had no no railroad at that time, so the organ was shipped in pieces by boat to Machias and installed in the rear of the church.
1870 — With money raised by the Ladies' Clock Society, a town clock was purchased for $600 and installed in the church tower. The four faces of the clock, manufactured by E. Howard of Boston, are seven feet in diameter.
1886 — The vestry was enlarged and repaired.
1889 — Extensive alterations and repairs were undertaken. The organ was moved behind the pulpit to the apse that had been constructed for that purpose. A parlor and kitchen were added to the vestry, and the pew doors were removed and re-purposed as cabinet doors in the kitchen.
1899 — The Tiffany-style stained glass windows, made by the Colonial Glass Company of Boston, were installed and dedicated on August 6.
1900 — A stairway was built connecting the kitchen to the sanctuary.
1943 — A massive fire destroyed the north side of Main Street and the east side of Centre Street. The firefighters focused their efforts on saving the church, keeping it hosed down, and miraculously the building was saved with only minor smoke damage.
1975 — Centre Street Congregational Church was added to the National Registry of Historic Places.
1981 — A three-octave set of English handbells was donated by John and Norma Marin, and a Handbell Choir was launched.
1987 — A Service of Celebration and Rededication was held on the 150th anniversary of the church building.
1993 — The rear of the church was expanded to house a new furnace, oil tank, and hot water system.
2001 — Repair and renovation work included steeple restoration, stained glass window repair, a new roof, and aluminum siding replaced by wooden clapboards consistent with the historic building.
2005 — An annex was built on the north side of the building to house an elevator, thus making the sanctuary fully accessible.
2007 — The congregation purchased and razed three old buildings on Court Street, creating a large outdoor area for church and community use.
Worship 10:00 a.m. First three Sundays in the sanctuary and streamed on Zoom. Fourth Sundays on Zoom.