Clinton AME Zion Church in Ansonia was originally organized in Derby in 1874/1875. Early meetings were held in a hall over J. P. Swift’s Store, later Pucella’s Garage, at the corner of New Haven Avenue and Gilbert Street in Derby. The church affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1882 and adopted the name its pastor, Rev. J. J. Clinton, in 1888, incorporating as Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church. A new church building was erected on Derby Avenue, but the church later decided to relocate to Ansonia, which had a growing African American population. According to Ansonia assessor’s information, the new church, located at 96 Central Street, was built in 1950. The church had to be repaired after it was damaged in the flood of 1956 (see “$5,800 Spells Restored Hopes For Flood-Hit Ansonia Church,” Hartford Courant, February 4, 1956).
Camp meetings were a notable feature of religious life in nineteenth-century America and some continue in existence today. This site has already featured the Plainville Campground and Camp Bethel in Haddam. Another religious campground is the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association. It was established by Methodists who held the first meeting here on September 3, 1860. Today it is an interdenominational Evangelical Association. At its height the camp had 300 buildings, primarily cottages built by individual churches or families. A third of them were destroyed by the hurricane of 1938 and another hundred were lost to neglect over the ensuing decades. 100 cottages remain and constitute an architectural treasure. Read the rest of this entry »
Methodists in Norwich first organized in 1796. They built the city’s first Methodist Episcopal Church in the Bean Hill neighborhood in 1831-1833. As explained by Edgar F. Clark in The Methodist Episcopal Churches of Norwich, Conn. (1867):
The name of the Church Society, as appears in the minutes, was first called “Norwich;” in 1834, “Norwich North,” which appellation it has very generally retained. In local conversation, it is often called “Bean Hill,” from its locality.
The Methodist society on Bean Hill for many years held their public services in the venerable building which had served successively and alternately for a classical academy, a free school, and a Separatist conventicle. In this extemporized chapel, many of the early noted itinerants preached in their rounds. Here Lee, Asbury, and other messengers of the church, proclaimed their message. Here Maffit delivered one of the first of his flourishing effusions on this side of the water. When the eccentric Lorenzo Dow was to preach, the bounds were too narrow, and the audience assembled in the open air, upon the hill, under the great elm.
The present Methodist church on the hill was erected in 1833.
The church was altered in 1879 (the current pediments above the pair of blue doors date to that alteration). The congregation moved out of the building in the twentieth century (c. 1960) and it was then unsympathetically remodeled as a furniture store and is now a photography studio.
Hartford’s Swedish Emanuel Methodist Church was organized in 1896. The congregation worshiped in a room in the Boardman Building on Asylum Street before moving to a church building at the corner of Hungerford and Grand Streets in 1899. In 1921 the church dedicated its second building at the corner of Boulevard and Lockwood Terrace in West Hartford. Originally services were conducted only in Swedish, but in 1941 the Eastern Swedish Conference was dissolved and the church affiliated with the East New York Conference of the Methodist Church, discontinuing the use of Swedish. In 1957 the church acquired property at 1358 New Britain Avenue and soon began construction of what is now the Westb Hartford United Methodist Church. That same year the old church on Boulevard was sold and became the Boulevard Baptist Church. Today the building is home to Angels On Assignment Christian Church and Jesus the Cornerstone Pentecostal Church of Hartford.
The church was organized October 20th, 1827. At first the school houses were used for meetings, but a spirit of opposition arose and they were debarred this privilege. With aid from abroad they succeeded in building a meeting house on the site at present occupied. The site was purchased of Alfred Howes, and Messrs. Reed, Hardin and Fenton, of Mansfield, were contracted with to erect the church. The building, being completed, was dedicated May 27th, 1829. A Sabbath school was immediately organized. [. . .] The church is a neat and commodious building, which, with the lot it stands upon, is valued at twenty-five thousand dollars. Connected with the church is a vigorous Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and a large and flourishing Sunday school.
In 1968, the First Baptist Church of Willimantic had an opportunity to sell its building after the Valentine’s Day Fire destroyed the 1865 Union Block. The declining church voted not to sell and to remain a downtown church, which is where it still stands. In 2002, First Baptist voted not to close its doors and instead chose to celebrate its 175th anniversary.
The German Lutheran Church in Seymour, later known as Immanuel Lutheran Church, was organized in 1893. A church building at 56 West Street in Seymour was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1894. In the 1970s the church’s congregation moved to a larger building on Great Hill Road in Oxford. The former church on West Street, much remodeled, is now owned by the Valley Detachment of the Marine Corps League.
it was accepted as completed according to contract September 14th, 1815. It was not finished as it was intended eventually to be but so that public worship could be held in it. Neither pews, slips nor pulpit were provided, but the people went up with joy to the courts of the Lord, to worship Him in His own house. After a number of years a steeple was built upon the east end of the meeting house, a bell procured in 1837, the pews or slips were constructed, and a lofty pulpit placed for the elevation of the minister. Thus they intended to have their pastors settled over the people. Many years after, one of the pastors expressed the earnest wish to have the pulpit brought down from its great altitude, that he might be among his people as one of them, saying when his Master wished him to come up to heaven he hoped he should be ready, but while he was upon earth he did not wish to be placed somewhere between earth and heaven. The pulpit was brought down as he wished, and yet it was too high for some of his successors, and it has been brought down several feet lower, and now it has only the elevation of the modern pulpit. A number of years since, the people feeling the need of a lecture room or vestry, moved the meeting house about fifty feet on the hillside, and constructed a very commodious vestry under it, where the evening meetings and other religious and social gatherings are accommodated. Thus the same meeting house has been occupied during the entire history of the church, except for a short time when worship was held in the Center school house.