The Faith of Our Ancestors
The First Congregational Church was organized on February 1, 1849, with 16 charter members, and was known as the First Congregational Church of Sylvan. In 1851 worship services were held in a schoolhouse at Pierceville. During the summer of 1852 a newly constructed church building was dedicated on the church’s present site, and a few years later the name was changed to First Congregational Church of Chelsea. This was the only church in the village for eight years.
In 1871 the church was remodeled and enlarged, and because it now housed one of the two heated basements in the village, the church was almost constantly used for community social gatherings and village meetings. Consequently, the village council voted to erect the first lamppost outside of the village’s business district in front of the church.
On February 18, 1894, the church building was destroyed by fire, so a new one was constructed. On January 31, 1895, dedicatory services were held for the new building. A plaque by the front door designates the building as an historic structure.
The Congregation voted on December 5, 1960 to become a member of the United Church of Christ.
In 2013, with the generous endowment bestowed to FCC from church member, Gary Grossman, the building went through extensive renovations. The basement was completely redone, leaving the north wall exposed to remind us of where this beautiful building began. The church was fitted to accommodate worshipers of all abilities, by making adjustments to address ADA requirements.
In the following year the Grossman fund allowed the church to update their administrative wing, which includes our new children's kingdom. The brightly colored room includes recent contributions from the Jack Jeffrey's memorial fund, providing new play equipment and child friendly decorations. Our administrative wing includes a new Pastoral office, a conference room and updated office space.
Our most recent update includes a new sound system that allows worshipers to listen to the service anywhere in the church, be it the children's kingdom, the basement or even the hearing impaired in the sanctuary. Thanks to the generous giving from the Edward Visel memorial fund, and other memorial funds our church history thrives and continues for generations to come.