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Birth of the Presbyterian Church

Steve Douse of Independence Drive, class of ’75, has childhood memories of climbing into the wall cavities of the unfinished Presbyterian Church at 335 Cambridge St. The speakers weren’t installed yet. “Though I would have tried climbing in even after the speaker installation if possible.”

That’s Steve on the left in the group photo. His sister Sharon and his father, Richard G. Douse, are on the right. Richard was the first minister of the Burlington location.

The church traces back to the fall of 1960 when 68 area residents petitioned the regional Presbyterian church. The first services were held in the Church of Christ, a little farther down Cambridge Street, and then in the cafeteria of Wildwood School, which is now the site of Wildwood Park.

On May 27, 1962, the Presbytery of Boston formally recognized the Burlington chapter. When it became self-sustaining in 1964, Rev. Douse took the helm, running it until 1977. He died Sept. 28, 2017.

The rakish gable of the church was considered “ultra-modern” at the time. Photo credits: Steve Douse.

Late ’60s parade float.

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