The church at 569/579 Clinton Avenue in Bridgeport was built in 1961 as St Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church. The church was founded by Macedo-Romanian immigrants in 1924 under the name of the Cultural Society of St. Vasile. It became St. James Romanian Orthodox Church in 1928. The church acquired its first building that same year, at 150 Lee Avenue in Bridgeport. The church moved to Clinton Avenue after its Lee Avenue building burned down in 1958. In 2009 the church held its first services in a new building at 504 Sport Hill Road in Easton. The church had rented space at St. Nicholas Antiochian Church in Bridgeport for three years while the new building was constructed. The former St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport is now Iglesia Cristiana Renacer Inc.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Grove Street in Glastonbury was the home to a diverse immigrant community that included Germans, Poles and Ukrainians. Many residents worked nearby at the Williams Brothers Silver Company. A German Lutheran Church, built on Grove Street in 1902, became St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1925. The area was redeveloped in the 1970s and the church was in the path of a new road linking Main Street and the New London Turnpike. In 1973, developer David MacClain was given approval for a residential project to be built across from his Glen Lochen Marketplace (completed 1975). His proposal included providing a new home for the church at the corner of a new Grove Street. He only charged the church for moving fees that were within the $45,000 the Redevelopment Agency had paid for the building. The church was moved to its current address at 26 New London Turnpike early in 1974.
Sources: “Ukrainian Church, a Landmark, Seen Surviving Redevelopment,” by George Graves (Hartford Courant, August 19, 1973); “Redevelopment Agency Vows To Keep Church,” by George Graves (Hartford Courant, September 28, 1973); “Ukrainian Church Expected To Be Relocated This Week,” (Hartford Courant, February 10, 1974).
On Sunday morning, April 4, 1897, ten people interested in Christian Science met at a private house to hold the first Christian Science service in Bridgeport. At the testimony meeting the following Friday evening, April 9, fourteen were present. For two years the Sunday services and Wednesday evening meetings were held in residences. In 1899 the organization was strengthened by the coming of a teacher and practitioner.
In May, 1899, a Christian Science Society was formed and a room in the Court Exchange Building was engaged and suitably furnished to be used for church services and also for a reading room. The reading room was kept open every day and also Friday evenings. The first service held in the Court Exchange Building was a Wednesday evening testimony meeting, June 7, 1899; and the society was encouraged by an attendance of twenty-four at the service the following Sunday. In December of that year the society was dissolved, and First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was organized and incorporated.
[. . .] As the church grew in numbers and in contributions, it was ready again to move to larger quarters, and the Froebel Kindergarten, at 871 Lafayette Street, cordially opened its doors. In 1902 the church rented the kindergarten rooms for the Sunday services, and in 1906, as the property was on the market, it was thought best to buy it. Reading rooms were furnished and finally a new auditorium was added to the rear of the building.
[. . .] In the spring of 1917 it seemed wise to take another forward step and remodel the church building in order to double the seating capacity. Architects from New York were engaged, and at an expense of approximately thirteen thousand dollars, the building has been strengthened and remodeled. The interior of the auditorium has been enlarged and beautified, pews added, and an organ installed. Various other changes have been wrought which make the building and its surroundings an appropriate place for Christian Science services. [. . .] The dedication service was held on September 15, 1918.
A new church, designed by Robert C. N. Monahan of Monahan, Meikle & Johnson, was built in 1958 at the corner of North and Clinton Avenues in Bridgeport. Because Christian Science churches can only be dedicated when freed of all mortgage indebtedness, the church was dedicated over five years later, on June 14, 1964. Today the building is home to a different church, the Holy Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ.
The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at 1100 Park Avenue in Bridgeport was built in 1911 as B’nai Israel Synagogue. First organized in 1855 and incorporated in 1859 as an Orthodox synagogue by Jews from Germany, B’nai Israel is oldest Jewish congregation in Bridgeport and the third oldest in Connecticut. By the time the Park Avenue Temple was built in 1911, the congregation had moved from Orthodox to Reform Judaism. The building was designed by Leonard Asheim with a Craftsman-style interior featuring natural wood finishes. In 1958, the congregation moved to a new building, at 2710 Park Avenue.
The first Congregational church building, or meetinghouse, in Newington was built in 1716. By 1784 the congregation needed a new building, but the bitter debate over where to erect it lasted thirteen years. Some members forcefully supported relocating the church from the center of the parish to the southern part. These members owned extensive tracts of land there and wanted to increase the vale of their property. The church society finally agreed to build the church in 1797 in the center of Newington. Those on the losing side separated from the congregation to build their own church, an Episcopal church called Christ Church, on what is now Church Street. The church only lasted for thirteen years and the building was then torn down. Newington’s Church of Christ Congregational, on the other hand, prospered. A parish house was added in 1893 and and a new two-story brick parish house in 1949. The 1797 church was torn down in 1960 to make way for the current church building, designed by architect Francis Newell of the firm of Jeter and Cook and built by Wadhams and May Construction Company. The cornerstone was laid on October 23, 1960 and the building was dedicated on March 5, 1961. A new three-story addition was dedicated in 1997. For more information see Barbara Lukens, “Facilities Often Shared By Newington Church” (Hartford Courant, February 12, 1956); Jean Weatherbee, “Dedication Set Sunday For Church Buildings” (Hartford Courant, March 1, 1961) & “Tombstones Mark Site Of Newington ‘Battle'” (Hartford Courant, April 30, 1961).
The first Catholic Mass in Manchester was was celebrated in 1848, by Rev. John Brady of Hartford, in the house of mill worker John Kennedy. As described in a history of “The Church in Manchester,” that appeared in The Sacred Heart Review (No. 14, April 3, 1897):
Next morning Mr. Kennedy was discharged by the foreman of the mill in which he was employed; but the mill-owner, Mr. Buell, hearing of this action, discharged the bigot and reinstated Mr. Kennedy. Fr. Brady came at intervals until 1850, when Rev. James Smyth began visiting Manchester at stated times, saying Mass in the house of James Duffy, on Union street.
As related in the history of the Diocese of Hartford by Rev. James H. O’Donnell in vol. 2 of the History of the Catholic Church in the New England States (1899):
When Rev. Peter Egan assumed charge of the Catholics of [St. Bernard parish,] Rockville in 1854, their co-religionists of Manchester passed under his jurisdiction. His pastorate was marked by the purchase of a church lot from Mr. E. Weaver, at a cost of £200. This site was one of the most eligible and commanding in the neighborhood. The Rev. Bernard Tully, who succeeded Father Egan in December, 1856, set about to carry out the designs of his predecessor. On Tuesday, October 19, 1858, the frame of the new church was raised in the presence of a large congregation, most of them Irish-Americans. The Cheney Brothers stopped their mills in order to render all the assistance possible. The dedication occurred on Decembers, 1858; 500 persons were present in the church on the occasion. The celebrant of the Mass was the Rev. Father O’Dwyer of Collinsville, and an appropriate discourse was delivered by Rev. Thomas Quinn of Meriden. Thenceforth to 1869, St. Bridget’s church was served from Rockville
St. Bridget parish was established in 1869 and Father James Campbell became the town’s first resident Catholic pastor. By the turn of the century the parish required a larger church. The cornerstone for a new church was blessed on January 25, 1896. and Bishop Michael A. Tierney blessed the completed St. Bridget Church, located at 80 Main Street, on November 26, 1903.
The Hockanum Methodist Episcopal Church, later the Hockanum United Methodist Church, was started in the early 1820s in the community of Hockanum in the south part of East Hartford. It was one of the first churches founded after the new Connecticut constitution of 1818 guaranteed the separation of church and state. Their original church building on South Main Street was built in 1838 and was remodeled in 1883-1884. A kitchen wing was added in 1911. Rev. Benjamin C. Phelps, who was a minister at the Hockanum Methodist Church, built the octagon house on Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford in 1852. After the neighborhood grew rapidly during World War II, plans were made to move the old church to a new site, just 50 feet to the south, where it would form part of a new and larger structure. Before being moved, in October 1951, the old building was raised to create room at the new site for a basement hall. Completed early the following year, the new church consisted of the old sanctuary, remodeled and lengthened, with a new front entrance and a new education wing at the rear. The facade of the new church was 20 feet further from Main Street than its predecessor, allowing space for a front lawn. In 2007 the church (address 178 Main Street) was sold to La Iglesia de Dios Evangelica El Refugio.