First Church of Christ, Congregational (Farmington, Connecticut)

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First Church of Christ, Congregational
1stChurchofChrist FarmingtonCT.jpg
First Church of Christ, Congregational (Farmington, Connecticut) is located in Connecticut
First Church of Christ, Congregational (Farmington, Connecticut)
Location 75 Main Street, Farmington, Connecticut 06032
Coordinates 41°43′14.14″N 72°49′47.05″W / 41.7205944°N 72.8297361°W / 41.7205944; -72.8297361Coordinates: 41°43′14.14″N 72°49′47.05″W / 41.7205944°N 72.8297361°W / 41.7205944; -72.8297361
Built 1771
Architect Judah Woodruff
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body First Church Of Christ, Congregational
NRHP Reference # 75002056
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 15, 1975[1]
Designated NHL May 15, 1975[2]

First Church of Christ, Congregational, in Farmington, Connecticut, is a historic Greek revival church that served the Amistad Africans before their return to Africa.

The First Church of Christ in Farmington was founded in 1652. Roger Newton, the first pastor, was the son-in-law of Hartford founder Thomas Hooker, and was succeeded by Hooker's son, Samuel. Among First Church's pastors was Noah Porter, who began America's first foreign missionary society in the parlor of his home. He was also the father of Sarah Porter, founder of Miss Porter's School, and Noah Porter, Jr., president of Yale University.

The present church, the third, originally known as the Meeting House, was built in 1771, designed by Judah Woodruff. The slender steeple on top of the bell tower can be seen for miles. The church is cited as an "excellent example of its architectural style and period".[3]

The church began the first "Sabbath School" in the 1700s for the local Tunxis Indians, to teach them Christianity. It was a hub of the Underground Railroad, and housed the slaves of the Amistad during the first civil rights case in the United States. When the Africans who had participated in the slave revolt on La Amistad were released in 1841, they came to Farmington and stayed with Austin Williams before their return to Africa[4] and attended this church. The Amistad case was important for the abolitionist cause and significant in the history of slavery in the United States.

The church was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.[2][3] It is included in the Farmington Historic District.

First Church is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "First Church of Christ". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  3. ^ a b Greenlee, Marcia M. (September 27, 1974). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: First Church of Christ, Congregational (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 30 July 2013.  and Accompanying 6 photos, exterior and interior, from 1967 and 1974 (pdf). Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Cunningham, Jan (September 15, 1996). National Historic Landmark Nomination: Austin F. Williams Carriagehouse and House PDF (342 KB). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 10 photos, exterior and interior, from 1996 and undated PDF (3.49 MB)

External links[edit]