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Faith Congregational Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2023 Cohort

Faith Congregational Church

(United Church of Christ)

Hartford, Connecticut

Faith Congregational Church in Hartford has demonstrated its commitment to freedom and equality in the United States for two centuries, from its earliest days as a place for African Americans to worship independently, to its financial support of the legal case for the captives of the Amistad, to its role in the Civil Rights Movement.  

Faith Congregational Church by Melvin Graham

Faith Congregational Church by Melvin Graham

2023 Cohort

Faith Congregational Church

(United Church of Christ)

Hartford, Connecticut

Faith Congregational Church in Hartford has demonstrated its commitment to freedom and equality in the United States for two centuries, from its earliest days as a place for African Americans to worship independently, to its financial support of the legal case for the captives of the Amistad, to its role in the Civil Rights Movement. 

The Faith Congregational Church congregation (known then as Talcott Street Congregational Church) was founded by African Americans in 1819 who wanted a space to worship on their own rather than in the rear or galleries of already established white churches. The current church building was designed for the Windsor Avenue Congregational Church in 1872 by Samuel Thayer in the Romanesque Revival and High Victorian Gothic styles and is known locally for its asymmetrical design. Faith Congregational and its predecessor congregations in Hartford have been engaged in abolitionism, social justice, and education, establishing the first school in Hartford for Black children and supporting the Amistad slave case by raising funds for the captives’ legal defense, fighting for the release of the captured Africans and their return to West Africa. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote the book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” attended the Windsor Avenue Congregational Church in the same building which now houses Faith Congregational Church, and her son, Rev. Charles Stowe, was the pastor there from 1883 to 1890. 

Today, Faith Congregational Church is part of the Connecticut Freedom Trail, hosts African American history tours, and participates in the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance, and Hartford’s Faith Based Community Policy Unit. Faith Congregational works with the Hartford Rescue Mission to distribute free meals and clothing to those in need and runs the Interdenominational Community Choir. 

 A National Fund grant of $100,000 with at least $100,000 in matching funds to be raised by the congregation will support replacing and structurally reinforcing Faith Congregational Church’s aging roof, which is the building’s most urgent repair need according to a recent building conditions assessment.    

Faith Congregational Church by Betty Ann Rooks

Spotlighting Women’s History at Historic Houses of Worship

Religious institutions have served both as a platform for the advancement of women’s rights and opportunities, and women have played critical roles in advancing religious traditions. The leadership and community building opportunities within these sacred sites have been critical to increasing female independence outside of the home and allowing women to develop institutions that strengthen their congregations and broader communities. The four historic houses of worship highlighted embody positive examples of how the histories of women and religion are inherently linked.

First Church in Oberlin

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez