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 Willington Baptist Church was organized on December 18, 1828 and the Baptist Meeting House was completed the following year. Albert Sharp, a local carpenter, was the builder. Members of an earlier Baptist church, established in the north part of town, joined the congregation of the new church. A conference room and Sunday school room were added to the building in 1842. Willington’s Baptist and Congregational Churches merged in 1911 to form the Federated Church of Willington. The federated congregation built the Clara Hall Elliott Memorial Church that same year and sold the old Congregational church building to the town in 1924. The Federated Church holds services in two buildings, from late September to Easter Sunday in the Hall Memorial Church and in the summer at the former Baptist Meeting House, now called the Hill Church.
Grace Baptist Church in Bristol was founded in 1888 and was originally known as the Swedish Baptist Church. The name was later changed when its parishioners began to include many who were not of Swedish descent. The church was located on Goodwin Street until 1942 when it moved into a converted residence at 38 Prospect Place. Outgrowing the building, a new church was built at the corner of King Street and Louisiana Avenue, completed in 1957. (For more info, see: “Baptist Church Launches $40,000 Building Drive,” Hartford Courant, February 5, 1955).
Faith Living Church, located at 20 Grove Street in the Plantsville section of Southington, was built in 1873-1874 as the Plantsville Baptist Church. As related in the Memorial History of Hartford County, Vol. II (1886):
The Baptist Church of Plantsville was a colony from the Baptist Church in Southington, and was organized Aug. 13, 1872. Its present house of worship was dedicated in 1874.
As related in Heman R. Timlow’s Ecclesiastical and Other Sketches of Southington, Conn. (1875):
The society was organized May 8, 1872, and steps were at once taken to build a house of worship. The land for the purpose was given by Dea. Plant. The building committee consisted of A. P. Plant, E. H. Plant, and R. W. Cowles. The corner-stone was laid with appropriate services, May 13, 1873, and the building was dedicated March 11, 1874, the sermon on the occasion having been preached by Dr. Rollin H. Neale, of Boston. The cost of the building was about $13,000.
By 1979, church membership had dwindled to 12 and the decision was made to sell the church and neighboring parsonage (built c. 1890). In 1985 the buildings were sold to Faith Living Church, which made some alterations to the facade and the entry.
The Congregational Church in Chester had two meeting two meeting houses (the second of which, built in 1793, became the old Town Hall, now called the Chester Meeting House) before constructing a new church on West Main Street in 1846. The Baptist Church constructed their own church next door in 1870. The two churches merged in 1941 to create the United Church of Chester. The Congregational Church was moved and attached to the rear of the Baptist Church building (29 West Main Street) in 1948-1949 to serve the united congregation.
The Fitchville Baptist Church, at 1 Bozrah Street Ext in Bozrah, was organized in 1887. I don’t know in what year the church building was erected. The church’s website gives the date of its foundation as 1852. There was once a Fitchville Congregational Church that erected its church building in that same year–perhaps the Baptist Church acquired the building previously used by the Congregational Church?
The first house of worship to be constructed in the Mansfield Depot section of Mansfield was a small meeting room built in the late nineteenth century by the Union Chapel Society. In 1907 the Second Baptist Church of Mansfield was established. As described in the Hartford Courant on December 18, 1908:
At last the hopes of the small settlement of Baptists at Mansfield Depot are to be realized. Rev. Leonard Smith of Mansfield, pastor of the Spring Hill Baptist Church acting as trustee of the Eber Dunham fund, has bought the chapel and land at Mansfield Depot of the Union Chapel Society. The chapel will be remodeled and converted into a meeting house to be known as the Eber Dunham Memorial Church. The purchase has been made possible by a fund left by the late Eber Dunham, who was a religious man living at Mansfield Depot several miles from any church from the pulpit of which were expounded the doctrines that conformed with his religious belief. All during his life he had to drive to church and was regular in attendance, both winter and summer. When he died he made provision whereby a certain number of citizens of his religious belief could band themselves together and form a church and society and this fund could be secured for a meeting house. If not after a certain period the money would be turned over to the state Baptist society. Several times during the past few years has it looked as though the state society would get the fund, but a short time ago the number of Baptists at Mansfield Depot became sufficient to organize a society of their own and now will be effected the complete realization of their cherished hopes in having a place of worship of their own.
At the end of 1908 (as reported by the Courant on January 1, 1909), Rev. Smith called for bids to build an addition to the Union Chapel. The addition would become the main part of the new Eber Dunham Memorial Church, with the older section being used as a conference room. The church would also have a belfrey. Work on the church was scheduled to begin that spring.