Central Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

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Central Congregational Church
Central Congregational Church, Angell St. 1906.jpg.tiff
Central Congregational Church is located in Rhode Island
Central Congregational Church
Central Congregational Church
Location within the state of Rhode Island
41°49′44″N 71°23′45″W / 41.82889°N 71.39583°W / 41.82889; -71.39583Coordinates: 41°49′44″N 71°23′45″W / 41.82889°N 71.39583°W / 41.82889; -71.39583
Location 296 Angell Street, Providence, RI
Country United States
Denomination United Church of Christ
Membership 661
Weekly attendance 300+
Website http://www.centralchurch.us/
Founded 1852
Architect(s) Carrère and Hastings
Style Renaissance Revival
Completed 1893
Capacity 1000
Minister(s) Rev. Rebecca L. Spencer

Central Congregational Church is a United Church of Christ congregation established in 1852 in Providence, Rhode Island. The current church building at 296 Angell Street was built in 1893, designed by New York architectural firm Carrère and Hastings. It is part of the Stimson Avenue Historic District. The church has a long tradition of social and community work in the Providence area, the United States and around the world.[1]


The Congregation outgrew its original Thomas Tefft-designed building on Benefit Street in the College Hill Historic District, and moved to its current location in the 1890s. The old building is now part of the Rhode Island School of Design.[2] For the new building, architect Thomas Hastings and minister Edward C. Moore wanted to use the Renaissance style. The dome and vaulting of the current structure is of tiles by Rafael Guastavino, it is the first dome that he constructed in the U.S.[3] The apse decoration is by Herman T. Schladermundt of New York. The stained glass windows were designed by Jacob Holzer with work by the Duffner and Kimberly Company. They depict the creation of the earth in the east and the heavenly city in the west, and are described as 'unsurpassed in the state.'[4]


The current Aeolian-Skinner organ was installed in 1965 and dedicated to the Reverend Arthur Howe Bradford. It replaced an organ built by Austin Organs in 1917. It contains four divisions, 58 ranks and a total of 3,456 pipes, and was restored in 2009.[5]

Church activities[edit]

The church supported the founding of the first Cape Verdean Protestant church in America, now called Sheldon Street Church.[6]

Senior ministers[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ John S. Chaney. "A Brief History of Central Church". Retrieved on 25 October 2013.
  2. ^ Ness, R. (12 November 2013). "Thomas Alexander Tefft: Architect Extraordinaire". Brown University Library. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Ochsendorf, John (2010). Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of the Structural Tile. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 67. 
  4. ^ Jordy, William H.; et al. "Central Congregational Church". Society of Architectural Historians: Archipedia. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Central Congregational Church, Providence, RI". Spencer Organ Company. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Soares, Sylvia Anne (24 April 2013). "Kerosene Lamp Church, the mission of Manuel Ricardo Martin and Central Congregational Church". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 

External links[edit]