Our History

First Congregational Church United Church of Christ (FCC UCC) in Hartland (then known as Warren) was organized in 1842. Thecongregation met in homes and a school building for several years. In 1857 the congregation dedicated the first church building on the corner of Capitol Drive and Church Street.

#101- Congregational Church - 1915-1

The original structure was torn down in 1923 (The last service in the old building was held on March 4, 1923.) and the present sanctuary was dedicated in 1924.

#102 - Congregational Church - 1896-1923

During the construction period, the congregation met in Hartland’s opera house.

#500 - East Capitol Drive - looking west circa 1930-1940 copy

The pipe organ has provided musical accompaniment to worship services since 1927. The bell carillon, installed in 1967, is heard throughout Hartland as it chimes the hour and plays familiar hymns twice daily. Classrooms were added in 1953 and office space and elevator in 1986.

#103 - First Congregational

In 1961 the congregation entered into covenant with the United Church of Christ, a newly formed progressive mainline Protestant denomination. The UCC was the result of these four denominations joining together as an expression of Christian unity: Congregational, Christian, Evangelical and Reformed. Our heritage includes pilgrims, abolitionists, settlement houses and shelters, liberal arts colleges, hospitals and facilities for the elderly and children, and civil rights leaders. Our ancestors include the first ordained African American pastor (1785), the first ordained female pastor (1853) and the ordination of the first openly gay minister (1972).

When we look back over our local history, the formation of the Hartland Food Pantry stands out. In 1987, members of First Congregational noticed that their neighbors included families without enough to eat. So, representatives of First Congregational gathered with representatives from other local churches to address the problem. Our faith called us to love our neighbors. As followers of Jesus, we are charged to feed the hungry. After a number of planning meetings and hard work to gather staple food items, the Hartland Food Pantry opened as a response to God’s call. Members of First Congregational continue to be leaders and servers at the pantry that served more than 100 families per month in 2013.

We also remember many fun times together, including fashion shows of vintage clothing, vacation Bible school, and potlucks galore! Today our members include wonderful artists, talented musicians, excellent cooks and creative crafters. We have teachers, working and retired, avid readers and a number who like to dig in our garden.

You must see the garden! Our Welcome Garden is located behind our building, along Church Street. The garden is especially beautiful in summer with lots of perennials, colorful annuals and clematis climbing a wooden cross. Come and sit in the sun (or shade) and listen for a word from God! God has spoken through the history of this congregation and is still speaking today.

Donald Rambadt 2014