William Leverich (1662-1677)

William Leverich was born in England in 1605 and received his education at Cambridge University. In October 1633, Leverich moved to Dover, New Hampshire at the request of a colony of merchants from Bristol, England who had settled there. After two years, Leverich went to Boston, where he became friends with the most noted pastors of that time, Rev. John Cotton and Rev. John Eliot.

In 1637, he moved to Cape Cod, where he made a study of the Indian language, and "preached to the Indians with marked success." His interest in preaching to Native Americans brought him to Oyster Bay, Long Island and later to Huntington, where he remained until 1662.

In 1662 Leverich moved to Newtown, where, with the exception of a three year return to Huntington, he remained until his death. During Leverich's pastorate, the Newtown church's first house of worship was erected, near what is now Queens Boulevard and Grand Avenue. The town continued to use the building where the church had previously met as a parsonage, school and town hall.

Leverich left a 100-page commentary on the Old Testament that, upon his death, was given to the town. The back of the pages were used for public records and were bound up in the first book of town records.