The first church was built in 1789 on present day Pearl Street where the United Methodist Church now stands. 

As a result of prosperity in 1817 the Congregational meeting house was sold to the Methodists and a new church was completed of a more modern style. Completed by 1825 on ground now occupied by the Congregational cemetery on South Main Street. This building was called the Village Church. The addition of a church spire in 1829 provided a symbol of worship for all in that part of the community.

As the community continued to expand it was determined that the location of the church building was no longer central to the population. For this reason a third church building was begun at our present location in 1846 and dedicated April 20, 1847.  In 1850 the townspeople wanted to change the name of the town to Richmond, but then agreed to honor Governor Thomas Seymour by naming their community Seymour.  In 1890 the church was enlarged by an addition the south end. A new pipe organ was installed and the church was incorporated as the Seymour Congregational Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flood of August 19th, 1955 caused extensive damage to our church. When the “rains descended and the floods came: and beat upon our town…” The flood waters, diverted into two streams, gouged a channel fifteen feet deep on three sides of the church buildings, and carried away the ground beneath the foundations of the steps in front of both the church and parish house. Finally the unsupported weight of these steps caused them to pull away from the buildings, to which they had been connected, and in this process much damage was done to the walls. They fell into the deep channel, and to remove them later it was necessary to have them broken by a heavy ball mechanically operated and the pieces excavated by a power shovel. A stair well at the left front of the church was carried away, the ground having been washed away below its level. All landscaping and paths were obliterated.

Inside the dining hall, gymnasium, kitchen, and furnace room the flood waters rose to the ceilings. The first floor of the parish house was flooded to a depth of six feet, and in the sanctuary the water rose until it covered the seats in the pews, floated the pew cushions from their places, and ruined many of the new hymn books. Everywhere when the water receded it left mud varying in depth from two inches or more in the sanctuary, to four feet in the dining-room, and up to six feet in the gymnasium. In this mud there was much of the equipment of the church and its many organizations, and a variety of debris, from wooden shoe lasts to barrels of chemicals, came in through the great hole created by the breakaway of the wall to which the church steps were attached. Railroad ties were found lodged in awkward places.   You could recognize such things as choir gowns, pieces of homes, and kitchen utensils. Scattered in the mud were more than 300 chairs, tables, and four pianos. These pianos were so heavy with silt inside that it was a problem to move them from the rooms in which they rested. The beautiful kitchen was in such a mess that it had to be stripped right down to the bare walls and all the equipment thrown away.

And yet it could have been much worse.  It became well known in Valley lore that the church was saved that day from complete destruction when a huge oak tree fell and blocked the savage waters.  The town library next door was washed away.  A monument now stands to the so-called Hero Oak.

 

Volunteers from among the membership of the church, and friends of it, began at once to dig the mud out. It took six weeks of work, most of it in the evenings when men were free, to finally get rid of all the mud. It was thrown through windows; had water added to it after it was settled and then pumped out; it was shoveled into wheelbarrows and wheeled out it and was moved with a mechanical scoop; and some was even carried out in buckets. At one place a rig had to be set up, and mud hauled up like water from a well. Until some of the channel around the church was filled in it was necessary to walk up planks, like going aboard a ship, to gain entrance or leave the dining room. But the work went on.

 

 

 

 

 

After having recently raised a large sum for the renovation of the church premises, and in a town so severely hit economically, the task of raising such large sums was required for reconstruction and renovation, seemed an almost impossible task. But new hope began when on Sunday, November 20, 1955, our church held a Thanksgiving service and received a check for $1,200 from the Ansonia Congregational Church. And other churches, both on the state and national level, showed such practical sympathy for us that by December 1, 1955 the church sanctuary was again ready for worship, and through an added generous gift from the churches of Connecticut, we were able to have the damage to the organ repaired, and it was played for the first time in a worship service on Sunday, January 2nd, 1956.

In 1961 our congregation voted to become part of the United Church of Christ.  Then in 1979 our church celebrated its 200th Anniversary. We are the oldest church in the town of Seymour as a congregation, and we still have a vibrant ministering presence in our community.

In 1993 we began a 3 year Renovations Program to effect some badly needed repairs both inside and outside the church buildings. Our heating system has been completely redone and re-zoned. Our roofs have been nearly all replaced and a new steeple was raised to replace the Cupola that had capped our Bell Tower since 1890. Built as closely as possible to the specifications of the original steeple that was destroyed by lightening in 1890, in November of 1993, the Seymour skyline was changed as a new Spire rested on the top of the Congregational Church for the first time in more that 100 years. 

Our organ which had been damaged in the 1955 flood had been repaired, but now it was time to bring it back to its glory.  When completed a rededication service was held on March 12, 2006.

 

 In 2015 a lift was installed to allow handicap access to our lower level where our coffee hour and social gatherings take place. Since that time the church has continued renovate and repair our beautiful church. 

Our History

Seymour Congregational Church, UCC

 

45 Broad Street

Seymour, CT 06483

(203)  888-6729

Join us every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. for service.

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