The history of Needham is tied to the history of its churches. Indeed, the dispute that sparked the separation from Dedham in 1711 was over the placement of the meeting house. Over the years, local faith communities have established their meeting places and houses of worship in the town, so that now there are more than 17 congregations.
In 1900, the congregations were fewer — there were only six churches, and two (the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church) had only recently established parishes in Needham. There was, in addition, a meeting of the Society of Friends, who met in local meeting halls and homes