Congregationalism in America dates from 1620, when the Mayflower with the first settlers arrived at Plymouth. Among those first Congregationalists were such notable Americans as John Hancock and John Adams. In the early years of our country, Harvard and Yale were founded to educate ministers. In 1957, many congregational churches, including First Church, joined another denomination to become the United Church of Christ in order to form a regional and national presence along with the worldwide outreach and mission ministries.
Our church was founded in 1659 by two groups of “withdrawers” from organized churches in Connecticut. They joined with others to form a “company,” which pledged on April 18, 1659: “If God permit, to transplant ourselves and families to the plantation purchased on the East side of the river Connecticut.” Today our rich heritage provides the foundation for our continuing growth in grace and mission.