The earliest Baptist Church in what would become Jewett City was established in 1786. It met in the house of Amos Read in Lisbon and was known as the Preston and Canterbury Baptist Church. As related in the History of New London County (1882), compiled by D. Hamilton Hurd,
They united with the school district in building a school-house sufficiently large for meeting purposes. This house stood on the site of the old “Fenner store.” In 1813 they united with the Episcopalians in building a regular house of worship. They now numbered 162, and had as a pastor Rev. Caleb Read, a son of their former pastor. A majority of the stock in this house was bought up by a single individual and the house closed against them.
As explained in the Jewett City Souvenir (1896)
The church building was allowed to pass into other hands, and the Baptists were compelled to betake themselves to the school-house which they had previously occupied and which they had helped to build. Soon they lost this place of worship and then followed their extinction.
Again as related in the History of New London County (1882):
In the spring of 1840, Rev. Benajah Cook came among them to labor. He found the church disorganized and dispirited. However, he succeeded in gathering a band of thirty-seven, who on Sept. 13, 1840, were organized into what is still known as the Jewett City Baptist Church. They elected Reuben Barber and Rufus Williams to be deacons. They built and dedicated a house of worship Nov. 30, 1841. This same house, twice enlarged and remodeled, is still used. Its estimated value, with its surroundings, is eleven thousand dollars.
The church appears to have since lost the upper section of its steeple.
The First Baptist Church of Waterbury was organized in 1803. At first, meetings were held in members’ homes or outdoors. The first meeting house was built in 1818 at the Mill Mill Plain crossroads, two-and-a-half miles from the center of town. It had no paint, plaster or chimney and the seats were wooden benches without backs. The second house of worship was erected (after considerable financial difficulties) c. 1840 in the town center on South Main Street. It was later significantly remodeled and extended, the entrance being moved to the Bank Street side of the building (the church spire was later taken down after it was deemed unsafe). This church was later replaced by a new one, built on Grand Street and dedicated in 1883. It was destroyed by fire in 1912. The corner stone of the church’s fourth building, at 208 Grove Street (located in a primarily residential area), was laid on October 3, 1915 and the completed church was dedicated in 1917. The Baptists later moved from the building, which is now New Life of Waterbury Church.
The First Baptist Church of Lebanon is located at the north end of Lebanon Green. The church was founded in 1805 and the current church building dates to 1841. The steeple originally had a second stage that deteriorated and was removed in the 1930s. A chapel, built from lumber from an old cheese factory, was added in 1907.
Shiloh Baptist Church in Hartford is the city’s fourth oldest black church. It began in 1889 after a split in the membership of Union Baptist Church. The church began in the home of Lucy Roy and then used various halls temporarily, until occupying a church on Mather Street, built in 1902. The current church building, at 350 Albany Avenue, was built in stages. As the Hartford Courant reported on December 7, 1914:
It was decided to build upon the pay-as-you-go plan, and the vestry of the edifice was built, the cornerstone being laid December 4, 1911. The new vestry was dedicated in February, 1912. Since this dedication, this part of the church has been the meeting place of the parish members. Last winter, the temporary roof over the vestry was troublesome because of its leaking. To repair it would have involved the expenditure of some $1,500, and it was decided to make one piece of work of raising the structure to completion.
The First Baptist Church in Plainville was organized in 1851. The Greek Revival church was erected in December of that year at 18 East Main Street on land owned by businessman Adna Whiting. He had helped establish the church, which had its first meeting at his home. The church steeple seen today is not the original.
The First Baptist Church, at 93 Main Street in Middletown, is a brick edifice built in 1842. The First Baptist Church in Middletown was first organized in 1795, 47 years before it moved into its current building.
Several religious congregations have used the building at 540 East Washington Street in Bridgeport over the years. It was built in 1866-1867 as the Bethesda Mission Chapel and Sunday School. It was later home to the East Washington Avenue Baptist Church (formed in 1874) and then to Congregation Adath Israel, the first Orthodox synagogue in Bridgeport. The edifice’s current cornice dates to 1902. Today the building is owned by the Apostolic Worship Center. The AWC purchased it in 1997 and completed renovating the sanctuary in 2002.