First Church History
Eighty years before American Independence in 1684, eight hardy pioneers from Norwalk, arrived and purchased land from the Potatuck Indians and staked out a settlement that is now the city of Danbury. These eight men, like all those in the Connecticut colony, were strict Congregationalists. The First Ecclesiastical Society, or governing body of the First Congregational Church, was chartered by the General Court in 1696 and a meeting house was built. In the early days, the Society was also the governing body of the town of Danbury.
In 1753, a baptismal bowl, hammered from a solid piece of silver, was presented to the church. This bowl continues to be used to this day for the Sacrament of Baptism.
In 1812 or 1813 the teaching of scripture texts to classes boys and girls of color were held after the Sunday morning service.
The First Congregational Church is now in its fifth meeting house. The current meeting house, along with its splendid organ, was dedicated in 1909. In 1960 the congregation approved the constitution of The United Church of Christ and therefore, became a part of The United Church of Christ.
Throughout its history, the Church has strongly supported community service and social action. A highlight was the involvement and support of the Interfaith Social Action Corporation in obtaining sponsorship of the Beaver Street Housing Project in 1969.
A Hispanic church, Iglesia Hispana Unida de Cristo, began worship in our building in 1980. Also, in 2001 the Church became Open and Affirming and continues to serve people of all backgrounds.
Selected passages from A Faith Walk Through History, The First Congregational Church of Danbury, Connecticut as compiled by Nikki Foster, Church Historian, and printed in the 300th Anniversary book for the Church.