The meetinghouse for the settlement that became known as Pownal was first built of logs at Pownal Center on the highest point of a plot of ground set apart in the charter of the town of Pownal granted January 8,1760, to be used for public purposes.
The Community Church (then known as the Union Church) was erected in 1849 over the meetinghouse at a cost of $2,875. First organized by the Baptist in 1794, the church was supported by both the Baptists and Methodists but has always been open to every established denomination.
Since the church is jointly owned by the Town of Pownal and the church, both have shared in the maintenance of the building. Town meetings were held for years in the lower part of the structure, but as the town grew it became necessary to move meetings to the Pownal Elementary School and voting is held in the Pownal Center firehonse.
Whether or not the farmers were of the Baptist belief in Pownal during the 1840s, or indeed, whether or not they were of any religious inclination, the head of every household was approached by a committee and urged to give every possible help for the new church. In one instance, a farmer on the far west side of town, with the help of his sons, cut and hauled the necessary logs the six miles from his woodlot to the Bushnell and Barber sawmill at the outlet of “Perch Pond” (now known as “Barber Pond”) in East Pownal, and then hauled the rough lumber back to the village green.
The Carriage Barn, adjacent to the church and where early settlors tethered their horses while they attended service, was restored by the church with approval from the Selectmen in 1976 for the Bicentennial celebration and has been used for social and fund raising events.
Front view of the Carriage Barn: