About Us

History

The Ecclesiastical Society, out of which our church grew, was formed in May 1773. The Church was formally gathered on February 22, 1781.

The first meetinghouse was build in 1782 and stood on the hill east of and overlooking the village. In 1831 this building was relocated to a site opposite our present building on Division Street. In 1853 this building was sold and relocated. A new building was erected in 1853-54 on the site vacated by the old one. This building was utilized through 1902. Our present House of Worship was dedicated on May 20, 1903. The building was one of several in the immediate area designed by Stanford White of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, Inc.

Following the precedent of our neighbor, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, our church leased in 1902 a portion of its land south of Division Street to the Borough of Naugatuck for use as a “public park for benefit of said Borough”. Joined together with land previously leased by St. Michael’s, this formed the current Town Green. This lease, for which the Church received $12,000 toward the building of its current sanctuary, remains in effect for nine hundred and ninety-nine years.

The Parish House was dedicated on October 10, 1888 and has provided spaces for church school and church programs, community programs, and at one time even the town library. An addition was dedicated on November 13, 1955.

At the Annual Meeting, held January 27, 1961 this congregation voted to become part of the United Church of Christ. Our congregation continues to have covenant partnerships as well with the Naugatuck/Beacon Falls Conference of Churches, the Naugatuck Valley Association and the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Our Senior Pastor, the Reverend Gordon Rankin, began his ministry with us on May 15, 2000 after having served a church in Madison, Connecticut. Our Associate Pastor, Mr. Fredd Ward, has served our church since July, 2007.

Theology

The historic covenant of our church, read each time new members join the church, is as follows: “In the presence of God we covenant with Him and with each other to give ourselves unreservedly to His service and take this to be our Church. Ever mindful of the welfare of our fellow members, we promise to walk with them in faithfulness and Christian love, and we promise that, so far as we are able, we will attend the services of this Church, observe its sacraments, share in its work, contribute to its support and its benevolences, and endeavor to make it a fruitful body of Christians. Because we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we take for our rule of life his words, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind and strength and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’”

Our By-Laws state that “this Church acknowledges all people as brothers and sisters, and it affirms the rights of all Christians to follow the dictates of their consciences as they are guided by the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and by the Holy Spirit. While setting up no infallible doctrinal standard of exclusion, this Church affirms The Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ.”

Perhaps the most concise and accurate accounting of our understanding of ourselves as a church can be found as an inscription above the Church Street doors to our sanctuary: “An House of Prayer for All Peoples”.