BARKHAMSTED — After nearly three years of searching for the right minister, the First Congregational Church of Barkhamsted has called Charles H. Hall to be their settled pastor.
“Selecting the right pastor for any church is an arduous task, but for a Congregational church the process really needs to be a unanimous decision for the entire search committee, and ideally every member of the church,” explained Sandy Davis, co-chair of the church pastoral search committee. “We feel strongly that Rev. Hall will be able to create plenty of positive energy here in Barkhamsted while leading and guiding us as we grow in our faith.”
The other Co-Chair of the Search Committee, Liz Ritchie agreed, “We are truly blessed that Rev. Hall found our corner of New England. His spiritual leadership, and focus on helping others was very evident during our search process. It was clear from the beginning that Rev. Hall would bring great value to our church and the surrounding community.”
A native of Massachusetts, Hall has served congregations in Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and Maine. Hall has been a Congregational minister for more than 50 years. The last 15 years have been with the church and community of the rural farming village of Peterson, Iowa.
Hall has been an active member of the Congregational Associations of Churches and often served as moderator and as a publisher of monthly newsletters. For the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC), he has served on the Spiritual Resources Commission, a long-range planning committee, and the “Congregationalist” magazine as the composer of a monthly page containing news from the churches. In Connecticut he plans to be active in the Fellowship of Connecticut Congregational Christian Churches (FCCCC) based in South Church in Hartford.
Hall attended Seminary in Bangor, Maine following his graduation from Boston University. His ordination took place in the East Machias and Machiasport Congregational Churches in Maine in 1960. He married Connie, of Plymouth, MASS in May of 1956. They have two daughters, Dianna and Natalie, who along their husbands Wally and Tom, have blessed the Halls with three grandchildren.
Hall has also kept busy pursuing a lifetime hobby of making scale models of American sailing vessels from plans in books, museums, and the records of retired sailing-ship captains he knew while residing in Maine.
“I studied the Barkhamsted church and surrounding communities thoroughly prior to sending in my application last summer,” reflected Hall. “I prefer to settle as a minister where I can be useful and be a good companion for everyone living in the area, not just for the members of the church,” continued Hall.
Hall refers to himself as a parish-priest type, emphasizing personal visiting, hospital chaplaincy, youth and Sunday school and working with the officers and committees to plan and carry out the mission of the church. This style of ministry leads him to be involved in community life: holiday projects, senior citizens, the historical societies, organizing Lenten services, involvement in a school baccalaureate with area churches, and in responding to the needs of families who have no church.