The position of settled pastor had been offered in 1763 to Mr. Timothy Walker, Jr., 2 who declined; however he preached on a temporary basis until early 1765. The proprietors of Monadnock No. 1 continued to strive to fulfill the original charter of providing religious preaching to the town’s people and to arrange for a settled pastor.
In May of 1765, a new minister was hired on a probationary basis. His name was Mr. Seth Dean. Nathaniel Page, one of the original proprietors of the township’s 1749 charter, was selected to contact Mr. Dean to discuss the position and also was in charge of arranging boarding for the new minister. Mr. Dean was apparently well-liked, and on July 18 of that year he was given a formal call for the position of settled pastor. He was offered an annual salary of forty pounds sterling, similar to the offer made to Mr. Walker, but there was no provision for cords of wood, nor of the increase in salary as the congregation grew. Mr. Dean preached for several months before his answer was given (which was the custom), and then he accepted the offer. This would be Mr. Dean’s first position as a settled pastor.
The proprietors held a meeting on October 1, to agree on a date for ordaining Mr. Dean, as well as to select a council and committee needed for this process. At this time, Abel Platts was paid twenty-six pounds and five shillings to board Mr. Dean and his horse. November 6, 1765 was chosen as the date for ordination, and from then on, Mr. Dean was known as Reverend Dean. Monadnock No. 1 finally had their first settled pastor.
What do we know about Reverend Dean? We know that he was born in Plainfield, Connecticut on August 7, 1715 (making him 50 years old when he became a Reverend). He graduated from Yale College in 1738 and was licensed to preach in 1739 by the Windham County Association of Congregational Ministers. In 1745, at age 30, he married Mercy Fenner of Rhode Island and had seven children: five girls and two boys. History doesn’t say a lot about his personality, but we do know that he served as settled pastor in Rindge for 15 years and during those years he successfully managed our church. Reverend Dean’s interactions with the town showed that he was dignified, polite, and friendly. He is described as having a quiet and peaceful temper.
So, we see that 1765 was an important year for our church. We can share the feelings of the people way back then as we, too, have recently finished a long search for and welcomed our new settled pastor, Reverend David Jadlocki in June, 2012.
(Sources consulted are Stearn’s History of Rindge, New Hampshire 1736-1874; and the Rindge Historical Society.)
Way Back When
by Margaret Morabito, Church Historian
Our First Settled Pastor - 1763-1765
6 PAYSON HILL ROAD
RINDGE, NH 03461
First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ