The church in Avon – then called the parish of Northington – was in dire straights. Rev. Rufus Hawley, the pastor for almost 50 years had resigned. The meetinghouse, located on what is today Reverknolls Road near the Farmington River, had burned down between December 18, 1817 and the morning of December 31. And, it was arson. Services were moved to the former pastor’s house – later the home of the late Bob and Gladys August, ACC members, at 218 Old Farms Road – and a schoolhouse. The large stone church doorstep, salvaged from the fire, was installed at Rev. Hawley’s home. Where to rebuild? The vote was 44 for a new meetinghouse in West Avon, and 37 against. The dissenters would established our church – Avon Congregational – making the year 1818 pivotal in our history.