First Church in Barre, Universalist
The church was founded in 1796. Four of the members were from the John Goldsbury family, the first settlers in Barre. In that same year, thirty votes were cast for the governor of the State of Vermont, seventeen of those votes came from members of the First Parish of Barre. By 1821, the congregation was large enough that a meetinghouse was required and a brick chapel was built in South Barre. In 1851, the present lot was purchased for $850 and the church was built for a total of $4,400. In 1893, the Paine Estate on North Main Street was willed to the church. The home was moved to its present site behind the church to serve as its parsonage. In 1955, the church purchased a new parsonage at 25 Orange Street, converting the old parish house into church offices, Sunday school offices and meeting rooms. In 1981, the Berkshire-built Thurman W. Dix Memorial Organ was installed at a cost of $52,000. They have been serving a monthly soup and sandwich luncheon since 1983; the proceeds of which go to a different charity each month. They have donated over $20,000 to local charities through this event. In 1990, we presented a welcoming congregation program, an educational program designed to confront prejudice against non-heterosexual people, to our members and the community. In 2006, the church was designated a “Green Sanctuary,” one of the first in the nation, for its commitment to sustainability and the environment.