|Our Church Facilities|
First Congregational Church meetinghouse was built in 1895. With our Puritan and Pilgrim ancestors, we recognize
that it is properly called a “meetinghouse” rather than a “church,”
because Biblically the church is the people, not the building. Our present
meetinghouse, built in a modified Gothic style, has an “Akron Plan”
sanctuary with semicircular pews gathered around the chancel area, so that
the worshiping congregation is quite literally gathered around the altar,
pulpit and Holy Table. The “Akron Plan” was commonly employed
in Protestant church architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
and is named for the First Congregational Church of Akron, Ohio, for whose
building it was first devised.
The meetinghouse succeeded the original Free Meeting House of Bingham, where the town’s Congregationalists held worship from 1836 to 1895. This lovely old building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, still stands off lower Main Street, owned by the Town and supported through a modest endowment. Information on the historic Free Meeting House can be found in the historical season of this Web site.
Attached to our church’s meetinghouse are the Parish House, constructed in 1925, and the Christian Education wing, completed in 1965. The Parish House is a spacious meeting hall for church gatherings and small community events. Downstairs is a dining room used for church suppers and special gatherings. A large and well-equipped kitchen is adjacent to the dining room.
The Christian Education wing encompasses four classrooms, a music room for the Chancel Choir, a room for the Adventurers youth group, the Minister’s study, and the Crombie-Matheson Memorial Library, an eight hundred volume research and lending library established in 1965 through memorial gifts. The Library is adjacent to the sanctuary and Parish House, and is a quiet and pleasant place in which to six, relax and read. Books can be taken out for two-week periods. A librarian is appointed to assist Church School children and members of the congregation before worship on Sundays.
The church’s facilities are available to the public for weddings, receptions and other functions, with fees for their use set by the church. Interested individuals or families may contact the church at 672-3218 for information. Smoking and alcohol consumption are not allowed on the premises.
First Congregational Church (above)
Original Free Meeting House (below)
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© First Congregational Church, Bingham, ME