First Baptist Congregational Church

Chicago, United States

First Baptist Congregational Church

First Baptist Congregational Church is a United Church of Christ and Baptist congregation currently located at 60 N. Ashland Blvd. in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The church building is an Illinois Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was designed by architect Gurdon P. Randall for the Union Park Congregational Church, founded in 1860, and was built between 1869 and 1871. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Mayor's Office, City Council, and General Relief Committee of Chicago were temporarily headquartered in the church. In 1910, the building of nearby First Congregational Church (founded in 1851) burnt down. Union Park Congregational then merged with First Congregational to form (New) First Congregational Church. Two other congregations would eventually merge into the new First Congregational Church: Leavitt Street Congregational Church (founded in 1868) in 1917 and Bethany Congregational Church in the 1920s.

In the 1950s, the neighborhood surrounding the First Congregational Church building began suffering from white flight and became majority Hispanic. In 1961, an associate pastor for Hispanic outreach was hired and a Spanish-speaking church services were begun. As the decade went on, the congregation became increasingly involved in political social justice matters.

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