Mansfield Christian Fellowship (1909)

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Mansfield | No Comments »

Mansfield Christian Fellowship

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.

In 1973 the church, located at 105 Depot Road, became the Mansfield Christian Fellowship.

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First Church of the Nazarene (1913)

Sunday, September 6th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Hartford | No Comments »

First Church of the Nazarene

The First Church of the Nazarene, located at 932 Capitol Avenue in Hartford, was recently in the news when its pastor, Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy, was wounded after being shot three times outside the church on May 24. Police have recently arrested a suspect. The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination. Hartford’s congregation, officially organized in 1914, acquired the church building on Capitol Avenue in 1937. The building was originally constructed for the Olivet Baptist Church. First organized as a Sunday School on New Park Avenue in 1874, a wood-framed chapel was constructed on Park Street in 1888 and the church was officially organized in 1896.

The cornerstone of the new church on Capitol Avenue, designed by Johnson & Burns (a firm in business from 1908 to 1914), was laid on June 8, 1913 and the church was dedicated on February 15, 1914 (“CORNERSTONE LAID OF OLIVET CHURCH: NEW HOUSE OF WORSHIP FOR PARKVILLE Ministers of All Baptist Churches In the City Speak BUILDING TO BE WELL EQUIPPED AND COMMODIOUS,” Hartford Courant, June 9, 1913; “OLIVET CHURCH IS DEDICATED: New Building at Capitol Avenue Extension and Newton Street in Use OTHER CHURCHES TO LEND HELPING HAND All But $890.30 of $4,000 Debt Pledged–Church Mortgaged for $12,500,” Hartford Courant, February 16, 1914).

In 1936 the membership of the Olivet Baptist Church merged with the Memorial Baptist Church on Fairfield Avenue (“Olivet Merges With Memorial Baptist Church: Decision Made at Annual Meeting; Rev. M. L. Johnson Is Pastor,” Hartford Courant, April 4, 1936).

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B’nai Israel Synagogue (1911)

Sunday, June 14th, 2015 Posted in Bridgeport, Churches, Craftsman, Synagogues | No Comments »

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

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.

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Community Baptist Church (1937)

Sunday, March 29th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Norwalk | No Comments »

Community Baptist Church

The Community Baptist Church in Norwalk began as the South Norwalk Baptist Church in 1859. As described in Norwalk After Two Hundred & Fifty Years (1901):

The church was organized on May 5th, 1859, at the residence of John L. Burbank, on South Main street. Mr. and Mrs. Burbank were deeply interested in their church, and their home was bequeathed by them for a Baptist parsonage, nearly forty years after the church was organized within its walls. [. . .] The Rev. L. D. Gowen was chosen pastor at this meeting and the first services were held in Smith’s Hall, which is now Tilly’s carriage factory, on May 22, 1859. [. . .] A temporary place of worship called the Baptist Tabernacle was completed shortly before Mr. Fagan’s advent as pastor of the church [in 1861]. That building is now occupied by William Podmore, on North Main street, on the site of the present church edifice [built in 1885], on West avenue. [. . .]

The 1885 church building burned on February 2, 1936. Instead of rebuilding on the same West Avenue site, which had become a business area, parishioners decided to rebuild at 105 East Avenue and the church’s name was changed from the South Norwalk Baptist Church to the Community Baptist Church. The cornerstone was laid April 11, 1937 and the first service was offered October 17, 1937.

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Old Baptist Church, Haddam (1833)

Sunday, February 8th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, Haddam | No Comments »

Old Baptist Church, Haddam

The Shailer family of Haddam comprised a large portion of the membership of the Baptist Church that formed in 1792 and built a church on the south side of what was then called the Middlesex Turnpike in 1822. A new and larger church was built across the street in 1833, at what is now 1338 Saybrook Road in Haddam. The church closed its doors in 1907 and has since been used for other purposes, including a pottery studio and residence.

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First Baptist Church of Branford (1840)

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 Posted in Branford, Churches, Greek Revival | No Comments »

First Baptist Church of Branford

The First Baptist Church of Branford is located on the Town Green at 975 Main Street. As described in Volume 1 of Everett G. Hill’s A Modern History of New Haven and Eastern New Haven County (1918):

Some embers of a former strife blazed up again when in 1838 some Baptists from Wallingford proposed to establish a church of that faith in Branford. There was opposition as soon as they sought a site for a building. For a time they worshipped in private houses. Their first public baptism was held in the river near Neck Bridge in 1838, and naturally attracted a crowd. Finally the town fathers kindly consented to let the new brethren build on the site of the old whipping post on the green, and there they did in 1840. The building was improved in 1866, and still serves the people.

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Third Baptist Church, Stonington (1833)

Sunday, November 30th, 2014 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, North Stonington | No Comments »

Baptist Church, North Stonington

The village of North Stonington in the Town of North Stonington was developed in the nineteenth century as a mill village and was called Milltown. Inspired by the evangelism Jabez S. Swan, first pastor of the Huntington Street Baptist Church in New London, a group of Milltown residents gathered at the home of Samuel Chapman to form a Baptist church on December 25, 1828. It was the Third Baptist Church in North Stonington, following the First Baptist Church (formed in 1743) and the Second Baptist Church (formed in 1765). The Third Baptist Church initially held its services in private homes and in the District #2 Schoolhouse. Its membership grew and a church, called the Milltown Baptist Meeting House, was built in 1833 at what is now 29 Main Street on land donated by Mrs. Stephen Avery, widow of Stephen Avery. North Stonington’s Fourth Baptist Church, also known as the Laurel Glen Chapel, was dismantled in 1940 and attached to the rear of the Third Baptist Church.

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