“Way back when” in 1708, Congregational ministers sensed that churches in Connecticut should have a way to work together, ensure doctrinal unity and license ministers, so they held a Synod in Saybrook that created the Saybrook Platform. The Synod called for ministerial associations and consociations of churches and clergy which could advise churches and screen clergy for proper doctrine. These associations could send representatives (delegates) to the General Association.
The General Association created the Missionary Society of Connecticut, predecessor of the present Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.
The General Association continues today as the oldest meeting of clergy in the country. It meets in September, inviting clergy, Christian educators and others together for a couple of days of fellowship and education at our Silver Lake Conference Center.
Windham County was created by the Connecticut legislature in 1726 from parts of the New London and Hartford counties. After which the North New London Ministerial Association became the Windham Association.
The First Congregational Church of Plainfield (1705) is now the oldest Congregational Church in what is now Windham Association because
- the First Congregational Church of Woodstock (1690) was in Massachusetts until 1749 when Woodstock (then New Roxbury of Worcester County, MA) was annexed by the Connecticut legislature and
- the First Congregational Church of Windham (1692) left the United Church of Christ and the Windham Association in the 1980’s.
For a brief time there were Windham East and Windham West Associations which most likely reunited with a new Constitution in 1812. Windham East included churches in the towns of Plainfield, Pomfret, Abington, Brooklyn, Thompson, Canterbury, Killingly, Woodstock and Sterling. Windham West included churches in the towns of Windham, Chaplin, Scotland, Mansfield, Hampton, Ashford and Westford.