In 1728, the first Congregational meeting house to be constructed in New Salem (a parish established in 1725 from sections of Lyme and Colchester; it is now the Town of Salem) was built on what is now called Music Vale Road. In 1763 the building was destroyed and a new one erected on the corner of what is now Witch Meadow Road and Route 85. Another building later replaced it on the same site. It was later demolished and the materials were reused in the construction of the current Congregational Church of Salem, built in 1838 and located on the Salem Town Green.
The Second Congregational Church of Manchester was formed and its first house of worship was built in the northern section of town in 1851. A new church was built on the same site, 385 North Main Street, in 1889. It is a Shingle style edifice on a high rusticated brownstone foundation. Read the rest of this entry »
The first Congregational meeting house in what is now Bridgeport (then called Statfield) was built by 1695 at what is today Park Avenue and Worth Street. It was replaced by a new meeting house c. 1717, located on the northwest corner of Park and North Avenues. The third meeting house, located on Broad Street, was dedicated in 1807. The powerful influence of the Second Great Awakening led to a division of the congregation in 1830, with a new Second Congregational Church being built at Broad and Gilbert Streets. The old church was called North Church and the new church was called South Church. A new North Church was built (on the same site as its predecessor) in the Gothic Revival style in 1850. A new brick South Church was also constructed (on the same site as its predecessor) and was dedicated in January, 1862. In 1916 the North and South Churches merged and planned to erect a new united church on the site of the old North Church, which was demolished. Construction was delayed by the First World War and then, when the former site of North Church was deemed to be too small, a new lot was purchased on the corner of Park Avenue and State Street in 1924. The new United Congregational Church was completed and dedicated in 1926. A Georgian Revival edifice, it was designed by Allen & Collens of New York.
The original Warburton Chapel once stood at 61 Temple Street in Hartford, between Market and Front Streets. The Chapel began as the Union Sabbath School, started in 1851 as a mission of Hartford’s Center Church to residents of the city’s East Side. It occupied various quarters until Mary A. Warburton endowed a permanent home for the school and mission chapel on Temple Street in memory of her husband, John Warburton. The Warburton Chapel was dedicated on June 28, 1866 and rapid growth led to the construction of an addition in 1873. By 1916, the neighborhood around the Warburton Chapel was primarily Italian, and the building also served as the home of the First Italian Congregational Church. In 1948, Center Church decided to sell the Chapel and relocate its programs to the Center Church House on Gold Street. The Warburton Chapel was acquired by St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish, which converted it to serve as its new social center, named the Casa Andrea in memory of Rev. Andrew J. Kelly, who served as pastor of St. Anthony’s Church for 29 years. The chapel was demolished in 1960 to clear space for the building of Constitution Plaza.
The Charter Oak Community Church, an interracial interdenominational church, was established in 1942 and held its services in the community building of the Charter Oak Terrace public housing project. In 1954, the Hartford Housing Authority agreed to the sale of land at the corner of Brookfield Street and Charter Oak Avenue to the Trustees of Warburton Chapel for the construction of a building for the Charter Oak Church. Funds from the sale of the old Warburton Chapel were used to erect the new building, known as the Warburton Community Church. Designed by E.T Glasse, Jr., of Farmington, the new church at 420 Brookfield Street was dedicated on May 6, 1956. Read the rest of this entry »
The Congregational Church in the village of Stony Creek in Branford was gathered in 1877 and soon purchased a building known as Union Chapel for its services. Union Chapel had been constructed in 1866 by the Union Religious Society, formed in 1865 by Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists in Branford as a missionary outreach to Stony Creek. The old wood structure was destroyed by fire in 1900. It was replaced by the current Stony Creek Church of Christ Congregational, a Norman Gothic edifice constructed between 1901 and 1903 of Stony Creek red granite. A basement kitchen and meeting room were added in 1907.
Southport was for many years a part of the Fairfield parish. The people of Southport, having built a meeting-house in their own village in 1841, resolved at a meeting held February 18, 1843, to form a new church, and therefore called a council of the five neighboring churches for March 7, 1843. This council organized “The Southport Congregational Church,” with a membership of twenty-eight. The sermon in the afternoon was by the Rev. Lyman Hotchkiss Atwater, of Fairfield. In the evening the meeting-house was set apart to the worship of God, the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Hewit, of Bridgeport, preaching the dedication sermon. The church was received into the Fairfield West Consociation June 6, 1843.
On December 21, 1866, the Middlefield Methodist Church was dedicated in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of Methodism. The Middlefield Congregational Church, built on the town green in 1842, stood across the road. By the turn of the century, the number of Congregationalists had decreased. In 1921 the Congregational and Methodist churches became federated and the united congregation rotated services between the two churches each month. After almost a decade this practice was deemed too expensive, so services were afterwards held only at the Methodist Church, the older Congregational edifice being considered unsafe. It was eventually torn down in 1942. Additions have been made over the years to the current Federated Church building, which is located at 402 Main Street.