When Warren was settled in 1737 it was still part of the Town of Kent. A separate ecclesiastical society, called the Society of East Greenwich, was established in 1750 and Warren was incorporated as a town in 1786. Early church services were conducted in a log schoolhouse, located about a mile west of the present center of Warren. In December 1767, services moved to a still unfinished meeting house, which was completed in 1769. By 1815, the building was in such disrepair that the congregation voted to build a new one, sited slightly behind the earlier structure. The current Warren Congregational Church (4 Sackett Hill Road) was built between 1818 and 1820.
Covenant Congregational Church in West Hartford began as the Swedish Zion Congregational Church, established in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood in 1889. The congregation’s first church building was constructed on Hungerford Street in 1892. Its name was changed to Covenant Congregational Church in 1938. Covenant Congregational Church later moved to West Hartford, laying the cornerstone to its present church on April 24, 1960. Located at the intersection of Sedgwick Road and Westminster Drive, the church was designed by Painchaud and Ryder of Madison, Wisconsin and was built by Bartlett, Brainard & Eacott of West Hartford. The building was dedicated on October 16, 1960. The church, which is Lutheran in theology and Congregational in organization, is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church.
The Congregational Church in Newent (Lisbon) began as The Meeting House Assembly in 1723. It occupied two buildings before the current Newent Congregational Church was dedicated in 1858. It was designed and built by Ebenezer Tracey, a prominent cabinetmaker from Lisbon. Lisbon’s old “Town House” was moved in 1953 and attached to the southwest corner of the church.
The Ecclesiastical Society of Westbury, now Watertown, was established in 1739 and the first Congregational meeting house was built in 1741 on a corner of the Old Watertown Cemetery at French and Main Streets. The second meeting house was constructed in 1772 where the Town Hall of Watertown now stands. The third and current building of the First Congregational Church of Watertown was erected in 1839 on a hill overlooking the town’s Public Green. The building was designed and erected by master builder Steven Baldwin, whose contract called for a structure that would match the size and style of the Plymouth Congregational Church, built the year before. Read the rest of this entry »
The Ecclesiastical Society of the section of Waterbury called Northbury (now Plymouth) was organized in 1739. The Society originally met in a building on the parish’s west side (now Thomaston). When plans were soon made to construct a meeting house on the east side, a number of west side settlers broke from the Congregational Society to form an Episcopal Society. (Plymouth was incorporated as a town in 1795 and Thomaston in 1875). As related in Francis Atwater’s History of the town of Plymouth, Connecticut (1895):
The Congregational society had its first home on the hill, and there it has always been, nor would an Episcopal society have been formed in Thomaston then if the church had been built here. The conflict was primarily of locality and only secondarily of ecclesiastical order.
The first meeting house (built c. 1747) was replaced by a second, built in 1792. The current Plymouth Congregational Church, which faces Plymouth Green, was built in 1838. It has wooden clockworks built by Eli Terry and donated by him to the church. Read the rest of this entry »
The town of Franklin was originally a part of Norwich and was called West Farms. A separate Ecclesiastical Society was established in 1716 and the first meetinghouse, on Meetinghouse Hill, was completed two years later. As related in The Celebration of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Primitive Organization of the Congregational Church and Society in Franklin, Connecticut, October 14th, 1868 (1869) [also printed in A Historical Address Delivered in Franklin, Connecticut, October 14th, 1868, on the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Settlement of the Town, and the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of its Ecclesiastical Organizations (1870)]:
It will thus appear that the same building materials which constituted an important part of the meeting house built by John Elderkin, at the Town Plot [what is today Norwichtown in Norwich] in 1673, entered somewhat largely into the first church built upon Meeting House Hill more than forty years subsequent to that date. This, in turn, was taken down and re-erected in 1746, in what was afterwards the eighth society in Norwich [the Portipaug Society, which existed from 1761 to c. 1861], and after battling with the elements for nearly forty years longer, it had to succumb a third time, and parts of it were finally converted into a dwelling house [built by Comfort Fillmore], where very possibly some remnants may be found at the present time.
After bitter debates over where to build a replacement for the original meetinghouse, the second was eventually constructed c. 1745-1747, again located on Meetinghouse Hill. This was replaced by another building about twenty years later. The current Franklin Congregational Church edifice was built in 1863 and was renovated in 1989.
The earliest Congregational church in Berlin was formed in 1712 as the Second Church of Farmington, later the Kensington Congregational Church. In 1772, the congregation divided into the separate East (Kensington) and West (Worthington) Societies. Two years later, the Worthington Society built its meetinghouse on Worthington Ridge. It would later become known as the Second Congregational Church of Berlin (the Kensington Church being the first) and then the Berlin Congregational Church. After the building was damaged by a fire in 1848, a new meetinghouse was constructed (c. 1850) in the Gothic style. The spire originally had four gabled dormers. The clock in the steeple was donated by town historian, Catharine M. North, in memory of her father, Deacon Alfred North. The church is located at 878 Worthington Ridge.