132 North Main Street Angola, NY 14006 (716)549-2115
About the First Congregational United Church of Christ
As our church covenant states, we covenant one with another to seek and to respond to the Word and the will of God. We purpose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known and to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world, while worshiping God and striving for truth, justice and peace. We depend upon the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the kingdom of God, and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.
History of the Church
On February 22, 1863, the First Congregational United Church of Christ was founded. The Rev. W.D. Henry of Jamestown was the founding pastor. In 1864, the thirteen charter members voted to construct the first church. The building was completed at a cost of $7,000, and was dedicated on November 19, 1865.
In 1875, the church purchased its first parsonage, on Mill Street. The Rev. Charles W. Drake and his family were the first occupants. The parsonage stayed at this location until 1925 when a new home was constructed on the corner of North Main Street and Henry. The first pastor to use the building was Rev. C.R. Hamblin. Until it was sold in 1999, all succeeding pastors of the church resided here.
In April 1922, the church installed its first organ, with Mrs. Flora Barrett Winters as the organist. In 1929, Mary Hess Greene replaced her, and remarkably stayed in this position for almost 70 years, until her retirement in 1999.
During the pastorate of Rev. Worden Updyke, a new church hall and educational building was planned and constructed. This facility was dedicated in February 1950.
On October 11, 1968, tragedy struck as a fire destroyed the sanctuary. Under the leadership of Rev. Raymond L. Morris Jr., the congregation met at various locations around Angola, until a new church was built. On September 13, 1970, the new sanctuary and church hall, now known as Updyke Hall, were dedicated.
The church has also completed an extensive renovation project that included the installation of a Lift-Avator, a new heating and air conditioning system, a handicapped accessible restroom, and a remodeled church school area.