United Congregational Church (Newport, Rhode Island)

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United Congregational Church
United Congregational Church Newport Rhode Island.jpg
United Congregational Church in 2017
United Congregational Church (Newport, Rhode Island) is located in Rhode Island
United Congregational Church (Newport, Rhode Island)
United Congregational Church (Newport, Rhode Island) is located in the US
United Congregational Church (Newport, Rhode Island)
Location Spring and Pelham Sts., Newport, Rhode Island
Coordinates 41°29′9″N 71°18′49″W / 41.48583°N 71.31361°W / 41.48583; -71.31361Coordinates: 41°29′9″N 71°18′49″W / 41.48583°N 71.31361°W / 41.48583; -71.31361
Area 9 acres (3.6 ha)
Built 1857
Architect Wells, Joseph C.; LaFarge, John
Architectural style Romanesque, Lombardic, Other
Part of Newport Historic District (#68000001[1])
NRHP reference # 71000027[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 19, 1971
Designated NHL October 16, 2012
Designated NHLDCP November 24, 1968

The United Congregational Church (formerly First Congregational Church and Second Congregational Church), built in 1857, is a historic church at 73 Pelham Street in Newport, Rhode Island. As of 2009 the congregation is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC). The church was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012, in recognition for the unique interior decorations executed in 1880-81 by John La Farge.[2]


The congregation was gathered as Newport's First Congregational Church in 1695 by Rev. Nathaniel Clap, a Harvard College graduate who ministered to the Newport congregation until his death in 1745. The Second Congregational Church of Newport started another congregation in 1735, but the two later reunited. The congregation was active during the American Revolution and both churches' meeting houses were used as barracks and hospitals by the British and French troops in Newport. Dr. Samuel Hopkins was the minister of the church in the late eighteenth century.

As of 2009, the church is pastored by the Reverends Mary Beth Hayes and Nan L. Baker.


The current building is a Romanesque Revival structure, designed by Joseph C. Wells of New York City and completed in 1857. It is a basically rectangular building, built out of Connecticut brownstone, with two ornately decorated towers. In the 1880s the congregation retained the artist John LaFarge to redecorate its interior. LaFarge had recently completed work on Trinity Church, Boston, and sought to provide a more elaborate interior than he was able to in Boston. He produced twenty stained glass windows and a series of murals, which represent the only fully integrated ecclesiastical interior he produced.[2] The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "NHL nomination for United Congregational Church" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Archambault, Florence (1995). "Forward through the Ages, in Unbroken Line": 300 years of Congregationalism on Aquidneck Island, 1685-1995. Middletown, R.I.: United Congregational Church in Newport. OCLC 34166462. 

External links[edit]