Our Pastor History

We are blessed to have such a long congregational history.  The pastors in bold font stayed 10 years or more.  Our church records burned in 1895, so much information before then is missing.  Click any of the three stained glass window images to see its full window.

Senior Pastors         Jump to Associate and Assistant Pastors


Pastor From-To Photo Notes
Eliphalet Jones 1669-1673   He attended Harvard University and was the son of Rev. John Jones, the first pastor of the First Congregational Church of Fairfield in 1644, and his wife Sarah . He shared his time with other churches. 
  1673-1678   Several pastors were called in this time period, but never came.
Jeremiah Peck 1678-1689 Rev Jeremiah Peck He was one of the “27 Proprietors of 1672” of the Town of Greenwich. He served as pastor for 11 years as our first settled minister. He refused to baptize the children of non-professors and was dismissed in 1689.  (The Half-Way Covenant Dispute.)
Abraham Pierson, Jr. 1691-1694 Rev Abraham Pierson (1641-1707) He graduated from Harvard College in 1668, assisted his father in his ministry, and later became the first Rector of Yale College in 1701.
Salmon Treat 1696-1696   (1672-1762) Every 3rd Sunday in 1696 he also held services at the 2nd Congregational Church. It was created in 1705. (1)
Joseph Morgan 1697-1700   (1671-ca 1742) He graduated from Yale in 1702. He was in the first class at Yale, and the only one of the class who did not also take his degree at Harvard. He was licensed to preach in 1697, and ordained in 1700. He also ran a mill in town, which some people thought was too distracting for him.
Nathaniel Bowers 1701-1710   (ca 1669-1712) He was paid in land east of the Mianus River. He left due to poor pay and the trouble of commuting to serve both the congregations in Old Greenwich and Horseneck.
John Jones 1710-1711   He remained for seven months and afterwards sued the society for his salary. (1)
Richard Sackett 1712-1717   (1688-1727) He graduated with honors from Yale College in 1709, studying for the ministry. He and his family moved in 1717 to Horseneck (west Greenwich), where he was ordained and preached at the Second Society (now Second Congregational Church). He was kind, mild and well loved. The Stanton House Inn in Greenwich was built on land granted to him.
Ephraim Bostwick 1733-1746 (1706-1755)  He was a graduate of Yale College, Class of 1729. He was called to settle at the First Church in Greenwich, December 23, 1734, and again September 5, 1735. On October 8th, 1735, he was ordained there by the Fairfield West Association. He left for Stamford, where he died in February or March 1755. (1)
  In 1755, the church had been without a pastor for nearly nine years and unable to settle and support one among them. The Associated Pastors of the Churches of Christ in the Western District in Fairfield County, brought the matter before the General Assembly, and it was proposed to annex this parish to the Parish of Horseneck (now Greenwich). A committee was appointed to view the state and circumstances of each of said parishes, and the matter was amicably settled and the two parishes were allowed to continue as before. (1)
Ebenezer Davenport 1763-1769   (1732 – 1773) He was ordained in our church in 1767. Before he came, Greenwich had to repair the parsonage and collect rates to support him. He is buried in Tomac Burying Ground.
Blackleach Burritt 1779-1779   (1744 – 1794) He graduated from Yale in 1765. He was installed as the pastor here in early 1779. He strongly advocated for the American cause during the Revolutionary War, was captured on June 18, 1779, and emprisoned in New York City for about 14 months. Wiki article
Robert Morris 1785-1794   (1751-1794) He settled in Greenwich, and was given a stipend, a house and firewood. He was a bachelor and lived with his mother in the parsonage. He is buried in Tomac Burying Ground.
Abner Benedict 1794-1796 (1740-1818) He graduated from Yale in 1769, and in 1771 was ordained and became pastor in Middlefield parish, CT, for 14 years. He influenced all members of his church to free their slaves. (Photo courtesy of Benedict Family Tree.)
Platt Buffett 1796-1797   (1764-1850) He graduated from Yale in 1791. In 1797 he preached 1/3 time here and 2/3 at Stanwich Congregational. Buried at Second Congregational Memorial Garden.
Mr. Simons 1797-1797   He preached half time for a while.
Abner Benedict 1797-1800   (See his 1794 listing, above.)
Samuel Sturges 1800-1807   (1770-1845) He graduated from Yale in 1787. He had also preached in Bethel, CT.
Mark Mead 1807-1808    (1782-1864) He graduated from Yale in 1802. Acting pastor.
Simon Backus 1808-1809    (1738-1823) He graduated from Yale in 1759. Acting pastor.
John Noyes 1810-1824 He served 14 years here, after serving 23 years in Weston, CT. He wrote a new Confession of Faith and Covenant.
Charles Frederick Butler 1824-1835   (1790-1866) He graduated from Yale.
Thomas Payne 1836-1842   (1804-1852) He came to America from Ireland when he was 26. He was originally Methodist. He helped grow the church here to 60 members. The old parsonage was on Arch Street, Riverside, then.
S. B. S. Bissell 1842-1853 (1812-1894) He graduated from Yale and Princeton Theological Seminary. He was a missionary among slaves in the south, then served here 11 years in the wave of Puritanism. By 1850, he preached both at our church and at the Mission Chapel, later called the North Mianus Congregational Church. In 1853 he drew a map of “Old Greenwich and Vicinity” and was our first church historian. He also cataloged all households in the area.
William Albert Hyde 1854-1864 RevWilliam-Albert-Hyde (1805-1874) He graduated from Amherst College and Andover Theological Seminary.  He brought in 35 new members. He championed the causes of temperance and freeing the slaves. He also split his preaching with our church and the Mission Chapel, like S.B.S. Bissell.
William F. Arms 1864-1866   Acting pastor.
William P. Hammond 1867-1872 (1831-1888) The meetinghouse and parsonage were repaired during his years.  He is buried in our main cemetery with his wife and other Hammond family members.
John S. Bayne 1873-1875   (1842-1915) During this time, 26 new members joined, new horse sheds were built, a Sabbath School library was created and the cemetery enlarged.
Granville W. Nims 1876-1878   (1848-1925) He was a graduate of Amherst College and Union Theological Seminary. More new horse sheds were built, a new organ was installed and the church got a new roof.
Frank S. Child 1879-1881 Rev-Dr-Frank-S-Child (1854-1922) He resigned due to impaired health, which was accepted with sorrow and regret. He wrote a history of the church in Greenwich, Historical Discourses, published in 1879 and 1895. By 1917 he was president of the Fairfield Historical Society.
H. Martin Kellogg 1882-1886 (1851-1911)  He graduated from Dartmouth, with theological training at Princeton and Union Theological Seminary.  There were more improvements to the church building and grounds during his years. He is buried in Worcester, MA.
Albert W. Lightbourne 1886-1888 (1858-1916) He began a Musical and Literary Association in the church.
Albert E. Kinmouth 1889-1892 (1846-1928)  Church membership was now 85, with 105 in Sabbath School and 13 teachers. They built a new barn and bought 60 new hymnals.
A. Lincoln Shear 1892-1894   He was a young, forceful and evangelical speaker. The wooden meetinghouse was getting shabby and there was controversy about a possible new church building on the corner of Sound Beach Avenue and Grimes Lane, south of the village. He and about 40 parishioners left and formed the Pilgrim Congregational Church in 1894, which later became the Presbyterian Church.
DeWitt C. Eggleston 1894-1910 (1849-1939) He did much good in mending the rift in the congregation and helped with the building of the new stone church and the 3 day celebration of the church’s 225th anniversary. He and his wife selected the Lamb Studios for creating the stained glass windows now in our north Transept. He is buried in our cemetery.
Thomas Relyer 1910-1911   Interim pastor.
Lewis W. Barney 1911-1927 (1864-1951) He was a graduate of City College and Union Theological Seminary with a doctorate from New York University. He formed the Men’s Club. There was a week-long celebration of the church’s 250th Anniversary in 1920.
Allan I. Lorimer 1927-1934 (1902-1980) He was a graduate of Amherst College and Union Theological Seminary. He was energetic and grew the church. He helped found the local Lions Club, the Greenwich Historical Society and was Grand Chaplain of the Masonic Lodge in CT. He suggested to Mrs. Binney to buy the swamp across the street and convert it into a park. In 1930 we gained the June Binney Memorial parish house, and the chimes to the bell tower, donated by the Stewart family.
Robert W. McLaughlin 1934-1935   Interim pastor for five months.
Alden S. Mosshammer 1935-1941 (1907-1975) He was a Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of Amherst College and a magna cum laude graduate of Union Theological Seminary. He worked on youth activities and community work in town (Boy Scouts, YMCA, Greenwich Community Chest and Old Greenwich Lions Club), plus state and county Congregational committees. He put the church on a sound financial basis.
William S. Beard 1941-1942   Interim pastor for a few months.
Vincent H. Daniels 1942-1963 (1905-1963) Dr. Daniels graduated from Marietta College and was head of his 1933 class at Yale Divinity School, getting his PhD there in 1939 as Dwight Hooker Fellow. He taught English and Medieval History for a year at Marietta College, which gave him an honorary doctorate in 1953. He increased the congregation from 740 to 2,400 members during his 21 years. The church school went from 300 to 1,200 students during his time, with 150 teachers.  The Parish house and Chancel were rebuilt and enlarged, with an Undercroft constructed. An Education Wing was added. He is buried in our main cemetery.
Harry B. Adams 1963-1964 He graduated from Yale College in 1947 and the Yale Divinity School in 1951, and has been a professor at the Yale Divinity School. He filled in as interim pastor for the months after Dr. Daniels died.
Francis E. Potter 1964-1972 Duke Potter helped the church celebrate its 300th anniversary from its charter date of 1665. The church bought a new parsonage at 22 Watch Tower Lane in 1964.
L. Alexander “Zan” Harper 1972-1973  Rev-Zan-Harper-3 (1925-2007) Interim Pastor for six months. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Yale Divinity School. He brought Dr. Herman Reissig as his Associate Pastor.
In Memoriam to Zan Harper
Paul W. Yinger 1973-1976 (1914-1992) He was a graduate of Union Theological Seminary and DePauw University. Dr. Yinger was a nationally known preacher and thinker. In Memoriam to Paul Wesley Yinger
Thomas L. Stiers 1977-2003 (1938-2023) Tom began as an Associate pastor in 1974 under Paul Yinger, then was named senior pastor when Dr. Yinger left. From 1970 to 1975 Tom was adjunct professor at Yale Divinity School. Tom initiated the Pastor’s Advisory Committee at our church. The Columbarium was added and a new organ was purchased. Tom began a parish nurse position and we adopted a policy of Open and Affirming. He became Pastor Emeritus.
Ralph Ahlberg 2003-2005 RevRalph-Ahlberg Interim Pastor. He’s a graduate of Hartford Seminary M.Divinity and D. Ministry; served congregations in Rockville Centre, NY, Garden City, NY (from 1973 to 1987) and 11 years at Round Hill Community Church in Greenwich, CT. Staff positions with New York Conference, United Church of Christ. Presently trustee at Hartford Seminary. He retired in 1998.
David D. Young 2005-2012 David earned his BA in Religious Studies at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has a Master of Divinity at San Francisco Theological Seminary. He also has a doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He initiated seven types of Mission Teams, Wonderful Wednesdays, the idea for linc service and reactivated the Historical Committee.
John P. Collins 2012-2014 Interim Pastor. John has been a settled pastor and an interim pastor. He led Lordship Community Church, a United Church of Christ church in Stratford, CT, for 21 years. Beginning in 2001, he began intentional interim ministry and has served through transitions at four UCC churches in Connecticut. From February 2011 to April 2012, he was Interim Senior Minister at Monroe Congregational Church. He also served in that role at First Congregational Church of Southington; Huntington Congregational Church, in Shelton; and First Congregational Church of Watertown.
Richard S. DenUyl, Jr. 2014-2018 Richard DenUyl, Jr. Richard earned his B.A. in business and religion at Hope College in Holland, MI and his Masters of Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.  After seminary, Richard worked for several years as a psychological crisis counselor for three towns in the New Haven, CT area.  He started his ministry at Westhampton Presbyterian Church, NY as a youth minister and then served at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, CT as an Interim Associate Pastor before being called to be Senior Pastor at The United Congregational Church of Little Compton, RI in 1993.
Carla Dietz 2018-2019 Rev. Carla Dietz Interim Pastor. Carla Dietz received her M. Div from Yale Divinity School in 2008 after many years as a Christian Education director for several churches in Fairfield County. She also holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and a Masters in Special Education from Fairfield University and has taught children and adults in that sphere. Carla has a Certificate in Christian Education from Hartford Seminary and is accredited in Interim Ministry. She has served on the UCC Committee on Ministry and Board of Directors in the Massachusetts Conference,  part-time senior pastor for United Congregational Church in Norwalk, five years as Senior Pastor at Greendale People’s Church in Worcester, MA, and the Associate Pastor at United Church of Rowayton in Norwalk, CT for five years.
Patrick Collins 2019-current rev-patrick-collins Patrick is a 2003 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he majored in psychology and played football. He then went on to the University of Missouri where he received his Masters in Counseling. From 2005-2012 Patrick was the Director of Youth Ministries at Countryside Congregational Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2013 he began at Iliff School of Theology (receiving his MDiv) and also joined Vine Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska as their Youth Director/Pastoral Student Intern. Patrick is ordained. On December 1, 2019, he began as Senior Pastor here after coming here in 2016 as Associate Pastor.

Patrick is married to Kate, a physical therapist, and they have three young boys, plus a toddler girl. Outside of church Patrick has been a volunteer assistant high school baseball coach, a community bike shop volunteer, and loves to run and cycle.


(1) Ye Historie of Ye Town of Greenwich, County of Fairfield and State of Connecticut by Spencer Percival Mead

(2) All other information up to 1965 is from The First Three Hundred Years, The History of The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Connecticut.

(3) Photos and information from 1965-1990 are from The Last Quarter Century, 1965-1990 by Helen Sickels Allen, 1990.


Associate and Assistant Pastors

Pastor From-To Photo Notes
David Miller Shapleigh, Jr. 1949-1954 David Miller Shapleigh Jr (1927-1999) Assistant Pastor
Merton E. Libby 1956-1972  merton-libby (1911-1995) Associate Pastor
Robert W. Croskery 1959-1960  robert-croskery-1 Associate Pastor
R. Alan Johnson 1969-1972  alan-johnson Associate Pastor
Herman F. Reissig 1972-1985  herman-reissig-c (1899-1985) Interim Associate Pastor, then Pastor Emeritus
James A. Fung 1973-1976  james-fung Assistant Pastor
Ann Suzedell 1976-1977  ann-suzedell Interim Associate Pastor
Paul S. Fraser 1977-1980  paul-fraser-2 Associate Pastor
Sarah-Anne “Sally” Colegrove 1978-2003  sally-colegrove Assistant Pastor,
Associate Pastor,
Senior Associate,
now Pastor Emeritus
David T. Taylor 1980-1983  david-taylor Associate Pastor
Dale M. Greene 1980-1989  dale-greene-1980 Associate Pastor
Meg Boxwell Williams 1982-1987  meg-boxwell-2 Assistant Pastor and Director of Children’s Ministries
William “Bill” C. Hart 1983-1987  rev-bill-hart-c Interim Associate Pastor
Dean Ahlberg 1983-1985  dean-ahlberg-c Parish Associate. His father is Ralph Ahlberg, our Interim Pastor 2003-2005.
Marie Reed 1987-1988  marie-reed (1933-2015) Interim Assistant Pastor
David L. Fountain 1988-1990  david-fountain-d Associate Pastor
Susan “Susie” M. Craig 1988-2007  susie-craig-3 Associate Pastor,
Senior Associate
Brigitta S. Remole 1989-1992  brigitta-remole-c Assistant Pastor,
Associate Pastor,
William “Bill” T. Federici 1991-1997  bill-federici Assistant Pastor
James D. Ebert 1998-2001  james-ebert-6 Assistant Pastor
M. Ashley Grant 2003-2005  ashley-grant-c Associate Pastor
Ron E. Halvorsen 2006-2008  ron-halvorsen-c (1944-2008) Minister of Pastoral Care
Dan B. England 2007-2014  danielengland Associate Pastor
Mark D. Montgomery 2008-2015  mark-montgomery-b Associate Pastor
Kate Forer 2008-2009   kate-forer Associate Pastor
Avery C. Manchester 2009-2020 Rev. Avery C. Manchester, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care Minister of Pastoral Care
Susan Murtha 2010-2011  susan-murtha Associate Pastor
Meghan D. Young 2015-2016  Meghan Young Transitional Associate Pastor
Patrick Collins 2016-present rev-patrick-collins Associate Pastor (2019: Senior Pastor)
Cydney Van Dyke 2020-present Associate Pastor