History of the Dighton Community Church




         All residents joined in building the new meeting house on Buck Plain.  It was used as a church some forty years and as a town meeting house one hundred years.  But many people were unhappy about its location.

         The growing seaport of what is now Dighton Village had a number of prominent men who had progressive views.  By wise cutting of the forests, building ships, and using them for the West Indian trade, they had become comfortably well off.  In the year 1769 they organized what was known as the Pedo Baptist Congregational Society.  It was often called the Church of the Lower Four Corners.  Later it became the Dighton Unitarian Church, and at present is called the Dighton Community Church.  But legally it is still the Pedo Baptist Congregational Society.  This name indicates that the people who organized it favored baptizing children.  At that time a theological controversy shook New England as to whether children who had not “experienced conversion” might lawfully be baptized.

         The site of the church which they built was part of the very large Indian cornfield which lay west of the trail from Mt. Hope to Taunton and Plymouth.  From the west end of the church cemetery the ancient Council Oak can be seen across the field.  Under its wide-spreading branches Indian leaders met and camped.  The sachem Philip, it is said, often visited this tree.  This old white oak must have reached great size before the church was built.

         We know that the church building had been completed sufficiently for use by the spring of 1770, for a committee from Dighton was sent to present a petition to the General Court which stated that they had a meeting house already built and in use. Later a legislative committee confirmed this after visiting Dighton.  The new society was therefore granted relief from taxes paid to support the church on Buck Plain.


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