Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Rich History of the First Congregational Church

After having been organized in 1819, the First Congregational Church opened its first church building in Sandusky in 1835. This church stood in Washington Park until it was razed in 1896. An article in the January 1920 issue of the Firelands Pioneer stated that in the early years, the First Congregational Church was considered a social center for Sandusky. It was the site of a number of meetings dealing with temperance and antislavery issues. At a church meeting held on August 16, 1847, resolutions denouncing slavery were introduced by Moors Farwell, and passed unianimously. 

Rev. N.W. Fisher was minister of the First Congregational Church in 1849, when a cholera epidemic swept through Sandusky. Rev. Fisher died from cholera on July 30, 1849. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery along with two other local ministers who also fell victim to cholera, Rev. Thomas Cooper and Rev. Hibbard P. Ward.

Under the leadership of Rev. Clarence Vincent, a new church building was constructed at what is now 431 Columbus Avenue. The builder was by George Philip Feick. (He would later also build Zion Lutheran Church across the street from the Congregational Church.)

From May 25 to May 28, 1919, the First Congregational Church celebrated its centennial services. A copy of the program from the centennial celebration is located in the church collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Now known as the First Congregational United Church of Christ, this church continues to play a vital role in the spiritual life of many local residents. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the history of churches in Sandusky and Erie County.

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