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First Congregational United Church of Christ (Front) - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

In 1880, the church received its first dedicated home – a wooden structure at Second Avenue and Fifth Street SE in Cedar Rapids. More than 11 years later it was replaced by a stone building on the same site. In 1925, Troop #6 of the Boy Scouts of America was chartered through First Congregational Church. It still exists and meets today at the church site and is recognized as the oldest troop in the state of Iowa. In 1928, work began on a new building – today known as our current home. A young artist in the area by the name of Grant Wood was hired to design the church’s sanctuary. The sanctuary seats 300 people and features balcony seating. Members of the building committee traveled to New England to study other Congregational churches when planning the exterior of the building. In 1959, the facility was expanded to include classrooms and the Colonial Chapel. In 1963, the membership voted to become part of the United Church of Christ. The sanctuary underwent renovations including the purchase of new pews and chancel furniture, carpet and a fresh coat of paint. In 1968, the congregation started the process of purchasing a new 1,735-pipe handcrafted Moeller organ, a fine instrument still in use today. The remodeling effort improved acoustics and provided maximum flexibility for worship services, orchestral, choral concerts, and drama events. In 1991, the building was updated to include an elevator and improved wheelchair access. In 2001, a new model for Christian Education was introduced to children preschool through fifth grade timed to coincide with the start of a rotation model. More traditional classroom settings continued to be used for middle and high school-aged youth. In 2003, the congregation began renovations by studying the needs of the entire facility. Initial work began in the church offices and main hallways and included improved lighting, replacement ceilings and painting. Plans were developed to renovate the parlor, chapel, fellowship hall, sanctuary and restrooms. In 2004, the congregation totaled 625 confirmed members and 100 youth, who collaboratively celebrated the church’s 125th anniversary.

http://www.firstcongregationalucc.net/AboutUs/History/tabid/46205/Default.aspx

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  • Uploaded on April 15, 2013
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    by KingHawkFan