First Parish of Norwell, originally known as the South or Second Parish, Scituate, was established in 1642 after a controversy over baptism with the church in Scituate. The meeting house of 1642 was small, with thatched roof and stood on Wilson Hill at the corner of Main Street and Old Meeting House Lane. In 1680, a second meeting house was erected near the old cemetery on Main Street, east of Bridge Street. In 1707 a larger meeting house was located below the old tomb yard which is seen opposite the carriage sheds of the present edifice. In 1769 a fourth meeting house was built there facing Dover Street. It had a belfry, gallery on three sides, and in size approximated the present structure.
On May 10, 1830, the fifth and present meeting house, designed by William Sparrell, was completed by Christopher Oakman. It cost $4650 which was met by the sale of pews. A bell weighing 1018 pounds was installed. Thomas Otis presented the organ which has been carefully restored and expanded in recent years. Built by the famous E. & G.G. Hook brothers of Boston, this 22 rank organ is a fine example of early American organ building. In 1831 the clock in front of the gallery was presented by the Hon. Cushing Otis, M.D. It is an excellent example of an Aaron Willard clock. In 1881 the steeple clock built by E. Howard & Co. of Boston was presented by William and Julianne Sparrell in memory of their father, William Sparrell. The first minister in the present meeting house was the Rev. Samuel Deane, also noted as poet and historian. The next minister was the Rev. Samuel J. May, renowned Boston Abolitionist and uncle of Louisa May Alcott.