Community Bible Church History

The Northfield Farms Community Bible Church at the Upper Farms grew out of one of the Sunday Schools organized by D. L. Moody in the nine district schoolhouses in the Northfield area. Among the leaders of the Sunday School which met in District Number 3 Schoolhouse were William Watson and some Mount Hermon students.

*It was said that these students used the ferry to cross the Connecticut River on Sundays to lead the Sunday School and a prayer service,  and in the winter they would cross on the ice - as the Mount Hermon campus was/is just across the river from the Number 3 Schoolhouse. One of the students of the Sunday School group, Della Howe was converted by D. L. Moody, as a result, started a prayer meeting in her home.

*It was said that Della Howe, who was 12 years old asked Mr. Moody what she could do for the Lord since she was so young. He suggested she have a prayer meeting in her home. So on her way home from Sunday School, for the next mile, she stopped at every house and asked people to come to prayer meeting.  Then she went home and told her mother what she had done. At that time, she was living in the house Mr. & Mrs. Homer Browning Sr. would buy and move into in 1921. The Brownings continued those prayer meetings, held on Friday night for many years.


Out of those meetings grew the Community Bible Church, which returned to the District Number 3 Schoolhouse, where it still has its home.  The church was incorporated in 1960.  Among the leaders of the Sunday School over the years were William Slate, who served for about 20 years; Russell Roberts, Mr. & Mrs. Homer Browning Jr., and Mrs. John Fisher.

Members who have gone out to serve as missionaries and in other fields of Christian service are the following: Mrs. June (Browning) Weatherby who with her husband Franklin were short term missionaries in Nigeria: Mrs. Rachel (Browning) Collier who served with her husband , Rev. Wayne Collier, in Barbados and Grenada in the West Indies.  Mrs. Hazel (Marcy) Gower and the Rev. Robert Gower ministered at the Berean Baptist Church in Manassas, Virginia.  Ralph and Richard Browning both served in British Columbia, Canada as missionaries under Arctic Mission of Alaska in 1973. Mr. & Mrs. Richard Browning currently serve as missionaries in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Community Bible Church has had many pastors over the years. The first pastor was Richard Griffin who served from 1957-1959.  There have been several programs and services through the years for all ages; children, teens and adults.

Robert Emberley is the current pastor at Community Bible Church, he has been serving there since 2009.  Due to church growth the church began holding its Sunday services at Camp Northfield on Sunday, 11/19/2017.

Article Sources:

Dorothy, Editor Pollen. "River Town Review, Northfield, MA." Northfield: Tercentenary Committee, 1973.

* Information passed down through the Browning Family.