Original Covenant

For a listing of our earliest members (1785 to 1887),
read our Manual of The First Congregational Church.

Our original 1785 Covenant
Transcribed from the old ledgers in the church files:

Records of the Church in Buckland.

From verbal testimony and concurring circumstances it is made evident that the Congregational Church of Christ in Buckland was embodied into a Church State on a day either in the first or second week of October AD 1785 - at which solemnity, the Rev John Emerson was present and officiated.

The Covenant adopted by this Church was follows:

“We poor unworthy creatures, who have sometime lived without Christ and without hope in the world, and so have deserved rather fellowship with the devil and his angels than with God and his saints. Being called of God out of this world by the fellowship of Christ, by the ministry of the Gospel, and our hearts stirred up by his gracious Spirit and made willing to join together in Church fellowship do, by the help and strength of Christ, renounce the Devil, the wicked world, and sinful flesh, with all the remnant of anti-Christian pollution wherein sometime we have walked, and all our former ways; And do give up ourselves first to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and offer up our proffessed subjection to our Lord Jesus Christ, as the only prophet, priest and king of his Church beseeching him, in his rich grace, and free mercy to accept us for his people, in the blood of his covenant. And we give up ourselves also to one another by the will of God, in the name and power of Jesus Christ, who worketh both to will and to do according to his good pleasure, to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth and to walk in brotherly love, and the duties thereof, according to the rules of the Gospel; to the common edification of the body, and of each member therein; making the word of God, our only rule of faith and practice. And to be guided in all things according to God’s revealed will, seeking to advance the glory of Jesus Christ our Head both in Church and brotherly communion, through the assistance of his holy Spirit which he hath promised to his Church. And we do manifest our joint consent herein this day. In the presence of the Lord and this Assembly, by this our public proffession.”

Signed by [listed here in alphabetical order by last name]

  • Hannah Brackett
  • Jonathan Brackett
  • Nathan Brackett
  • Josiah Brown
  • Susannah Brown
  • James Butler
  • Sarah Butler
  • Anna Carter
  • Deborah Carter
  • Elias Carter
  • Martha Johnson
  • Sibbel Maxwell
  • Thompson Maxwell
  • Enos Taylor
  • Eunice Taylor
  • Lemuel Taylor
  • Samuel Taylor
  • Tertius Taylor

The above names were admitted, as from their Letters of recommendation at the time the Church was first embodied – 1785…The preceeding records are what we have collected from manuscripts kept by Dea. Taylor, Rev. Josiah Spaulding, and Dea. Sherwin from the year 1786 to the present date. signed Nov., 7th 1823Nathaniel Sherwin, Moderator; Samuel Taylor, Lem’l Taylor, Jesse Pratt, Committee; Attest - John Porter, Clerk

Early Years of Buckland

Originally part of the towns of Charlemont and Ashfield and known as "No Town," Buckland’s first settlers arrived in 1742. By 1779, the residents of what is now Buckland found it inconvenient and sometimes dangerous to cross the Deerfield River to attend church, school and town functions in Charlemont and surrounding towns, so they petitioned the General Court for incorporation. The Town of Buckland was incorporated April 14, 1779.

In the early days goods were brought by ox cart from Boston to Northampton and then to the hills of Buckland. Major routes of travel were rivers and streams. The Revolutionary War had ended in 1783, two years prior to the church’s start in 1785. The U.S. Constitution would not be ratified until 1788, three years after the church was organized. Many Revolutionary War veterans were part of the church's original congregation and most all of the flags and veterans’ markers in the Old Cemetery located on the east side of the church are from that conflict.

Samuel Taylor, one of the original founders of the church, was largely instrumental in securing the incorporation of the town of Buckland and was the first town clerk, holding that office for forty years. He was representative to the General Court from Charlemont and as a civil engineer he surveyed and laid out the major part of Buckland and lands in the vicinity. He gave the land for Old Cemetery #01 located on the east side of the church, and for a nominal sum, the Common and the land upon which the Buckland Historical Society Museum now stands across the street from the church.

Historical Sketch

Historical Sketch

Brief History of the Mary Lyon Church


The First Congregational Church of Buckland was organized in October 1785 with eighteen members.

The erection of the church building, which is known to have contained a balcony and box pews, was completed in 1800. In 1846 this building was remodeled and enlarged. It was also raised in order to provide a hall beneath the sanctuary, in which the town meetings were held for a period of about forty years. The roof had very little alterations. The massive trusses of the original building can still be seen in the attic. Although built at the end of the 18th century, the construction looks backward in style and has some features in common with the roof construction of the famous 17th century “Old Ship Church” in Hingham, Massachusetts.

In 1907 the interior of the sanctuary was equipped with metal sheathing on the walls and ceilings. The pews, which are being used today, were installed, replacing a set which had been in use since the removal of the box pews. The photo at the left is of the old box pews, prior to the 1907 renovations. Other changes during the 20th century included the installation of memorial windows in the sanctuary in 1909 and an electric organ in 1958.

On January 3, 1961, along with many Congregational churches in Massachusetts, our church voted to join the United Church of Christ.

Mary Lyon, founder of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has been the church’s most distinguished gift to the world. Miss Lyon was baptized and received membership in 1822. Through the generosity of an admirer, a memorial tablet was placed on the south wall of the sanctuary, above the central door. It is altogether fitting that this church should be known as “The Mary Lyon Church." If you would like to know more about Mary Lyon, please click on the following link to learn more about this important local and national figure: www.mtholyoke.edu/marylyon/

The tribute to Miss Lyon should be accompanied with an equally grateful tribute to the host of men and women of lesser fame, living and dead, who have helped to make the church what it is today.