History of FCC

On the afternoon of July 10, 1872, the church was razed by fire. A new church was built on the same site and dedicated on October 29, 1875. The Rev. Edward H. Smith preached his first sermon in the church in May of 1886; he served as pastor at First Congregational Church until his retirement in 1913. Smith was made Pastor Emeritus for the remainder of his life. He died on May 11, 1932, at the age of 89. The Reverend also served as a Chaplain in the 2nd Reg. Wisconsin National Guard and served in Puerto Rico, during the Spanish American War. The current church was finished and dedicated in January of 1912. The old church became the parish’s Fellowship Hall, which served the people for many years until it was razed and replaced by a new hall.

The organ was built by the firm of Messrs. Casavant Brothers, of St. Hycinthe, Quebec, Canada. The Young Ladies’ Society voted in 1910, to donate the funds for the organ from the society.

Some pictures of the original building can be found by copy and pasting this link in a new browser: http://historicoshkosh.org/first-congregational-church.

Pictures of the original building can be found here: http://historicoshkosh.org/first-congregational-church.

According to the Oshkosh Public Museum, the First Congregational Church was organized on July 11, 1849. The first service was held on the second floor of the Court House and overseen by Rev. Hiram Freeman. The year 1851 saw the building of the first church for the congregation on Main Street, near Church Ave. The building had two wings added in 1853, bringing the seating capacity to 500. This small building was used until November 5, 1858. The year 1858 saw the congregation meeting in the basement of their new church that was under construction at the corner of Algoma Boulevard and Bond Street (now Brown). The church was completed on June 1, 1867.

Pastors who have served First Congregational Church since its beginning and the years they served are as follows:

Hiram Freeman (1849-1856)

William Horace Marble (1856-1862)

Henry Gilderoy McArthur (1862-1865)

John P. Roe (1865-1868)

Franklin Burroughs Norton (1869-1870)

William Aspley Chamberlain (1870-1874)

Thomas Gordon Grassie (1875-1876)

Kerr C. Anderson (1876-1884)

Fred Abbot (1885)

Edward Henry Smith (1886-1913)

Harry Foster Burns (1913-1917)

Theodore Rush Fayville (1918-1922)

Philip Mercer (1922-1926)

Charles Hallock Beale (1926-1928)

David F. Bent (1929-1939)

Jessee Pindell Pierce (1940-1946)

J. Kendrick Strong (1947-1954)

G. Pail Stowell (1955-1957)

Francis Nels Nordstrom (1958-1971)

John C. Hanchett (1971-1972)

E. Lamar Kincaid (1972-1976)

Robert Spalding (1977-1987)

David Steffenson (1987)

Ralph & Carol DiBiasio-Snyder (1988-2015)

Jack Seville, interim pastor (Sept 2015-Jan 2017)

Nancy Taylor (Jan 2017 - present)