Friday, September 9, 2011


The second speaker at the DFAW/CT Professional Genealogists Council joint program on Sat. Sept. 24 is Rev. Gordon Bates of the First Congregational Church, Glastonbury. In popular jargon, the term “Puritanical” suggests a rather negative image of a sour, authoritarian and prudish kind of person. A closer look at the first settlers in Massachusetts reveals a different picture. Being puritanical might not be so bad after all.

Rev. Gordon Bates is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. His credentials for speaking about our Puritan heritage come from two sources. First, a major aspect of the UCC’s background is the development of the Congregational Church, drawn from the Puritan and Pilgrim communities of the 17th century. Second, thirty of Gordon’s fifty-two years of his ministry were devoted to work with a private, non-profit social service agency in the field of criminal justice known as the Connecticut Prison Association. He is currently writing a history of the organization, dating from 1875 to the present. Much of his research has been in colonial roots of our system of justice. He lives in East Hartford with his wife, Wanda.

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