First Congregational Church welcomes new pastor

James Watson
James Watson

The Rev. James T. Watson will begin serving as Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield on Sunday, Nov. 4.  Services are at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Rev. James was  approved at a special congregational meeting held on Sept. 23rd.

“Rev. James has the experience, creativity and deep faith we were looking for in a new Senior Pastor. He spoke to our hearts. We are very excited about his ministry with our church and the community,” said Co-Chairs of the Search Committee, Ann Kessler and Brenda Calia.

“First Congregational Church is a church that thrives living against the stream,” said Rev. James. “In an age when churches often struggle to maintain aging buildings, First Congregational Church decided to make a huge investment renovating and modernizing its sanctuary and supporting facilities. The driving idea was to provide the best possible space to support its ministries and missions. I feel privileged to be called to enter into the life of this congregation as they begin to wrestle with the critical question of ‘What’s next?’ The congregation’s capacity for extending an extravagant welcome, its desire to be a well-spring of life-giving spirituality, its commitment to practicing a thoughtful faith, and its passion in serving others in transformative ways, not just making a difference, but being the difference form a solid foundation on which to build new initiatives. I look forward to seeing what is in store for the church and wider community as we embark on this journey serving God and our neighbors together.”

Rev. James has served churches in Waterloo, Ill., Loveland, Colo., Mercer Island, Wash., and Tacoma, Wash.  He has a love of the outdoors, fly fishing, and has been a professional chef. James is married to Thelma, a retired Presbyterian minister, and they have daughter who lives in St. Louis with her husband.

The First Congregational Church is the oldest of Ridgefield’s churches, and is located by the Fountain at 103 Main Street.   

For more information, call the church office at 203-438-8077, or email to