History of First
Congregational Christian Church

1863- First meeting, August 23rd

1863- First service with 14 members. September 8, 1863

1865- Dedicated first church at Mulberry and Union Streets

1873- first Pipe Organ

1903- 40th Anniversary

Charter Members: The Rev. J.L. Jenkins, Mrs. J. L. Jenkins, Moses R. Andrews, Mrs. Elizabeth Andrews, Mrs. Lucinda Hathaway, Mrs. D.P. Davis (Elizabeth), Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Flemmings, Mr. & Mrs. H. R. Kelso, Mrs. Ann Kelso, Mrs. Margaret Murray, Mr. James M. Patterson & Mrs. Joanna Kaufman.

At this time, Kokomo had 200 residents. There were two churches
in Kokomo: Methodist & Christian.

A group of Congregationalists who came to the United States
on the Mayflower were interested in organizing a Congregational Church. Rev. Joseph E. Roy, agent of the American Home Missionary for the district of northern Illinois and northern Indiana found Moses Andrew who had been a Congregationalist before leaving New England.

The first meeting was held on August 23, 1863, with Rev. J.L. Jenkins, first pastor of Congregational Church which was located at Union and Mulberry Streets, later the site of the Firestone Building. In 1865 the First Church was dedicated with a 40th Anniversary Celebration in 1903. This church needed many repairs so in 1924, land was purchased and the present First Congregational Christian Church was built at Mulberry and Webster Streets.

In November of 1924, an Estey Pipe Organ was donated in
Memory of Mr. & Mrs. H.C. Davis and Children.  This organ along with the choir were located up front with an ornamental grill set in the wall for organ pipes.

1924 Senior Club started by Mrs. Howard Bone

Congo Club started by Pauline Fredrick as a recreational program for many youth from all parts of Kokomo.

The exterior of the original structure is of Georgian architecture.  Above the outside doors is the same swag as the swags of the balcony. The Rose Window is a circular stained glass window with millions of traceries that generally radiate from the center. In church they sometimes allude to the Virgin Mary.   The stained glass windows
were a memorial to Peter Hoss, a  gift of Mrs. Hoss and son, L.C. Hoss.  Lilies,(note 3 Lilies, Father, Son and Holy Ghost), torch, candles and palms.  All door glass and windows on the first and
second floors are a portion of the design of the stained glass windows.

Also available in 1924, was an Aid for the deaf—A small
telephone with an extension devise that could be carried outside church and into homes for shut ins and many who desired to hear and participate.

The church also initiated a Sunday School Class for special
needs children in the community, which was conducted under the auspices of theHoward County Council of Churches.

1943- Burning of mortgage. 80th Anniversary.

1946- Exchange pulpit with B’nai Israel Synagogue, Brotherhood Week.

1953- 90th Anniversary.

1954- Baldwin Spinet Organ in Pilgrim Chapel given by Mrs.L.W. Penniman in memory of her mother, Mrs. Emma Davis Bruner.   Dedication on 10/24/54.

1956-Purchased property west of church for parking lot.

1959-Dirilyte Alter Cross for Communion table given in
memory of Mrs. Sarah Pounder by Mr. & Mrs. Walse, Fort Wayne.

Mr. Roscoe McAllister, retired 25 years as janitor.

Mr. & Mrs. Sam Arrington hired as custodians and living quarters in Fredrick Hall were remodeled so they could live on church premises.

Fredrick family donated family residence to Congregational Church.  Possession of Fredrick Hall on September 22, 1958.

25 pedal pipes were overhauled on the organ.

12/13/1959- Christian flag was donated by Women’s Guild in
memorial to Randolf J. Ericcson.

Tynan Woods deeded to Mrs. Tynan for survey and divided it. Her original intention was to give part to the church and reserve part for herself.  Later the balance was deeded back to Congo without restrictions of original deed. Now know as Camp Tycony.

Reed organ given to Student Church at Purdue.

1961- April 17, the Nearly New Shop opened.

2 new upright pianos were given by Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Diller

1962- Parsonage at 1716 West Taylor Street was sold.

In 1964, a renovation to the church included the New Sanctuary: Red  velvet dossell,m red carpet, pews are walnut and white, walls are shades of white highlighted with gold.  The cross on the dossell was given in memory of Lydia Boughman.

The present organ and pianos were given to the church in 1966.

1965- Trustees investigated elevator spot in northeast corner of building. Planned to add an elevator as soon as money is
available.  This was never done.

Music committee built in lockers in choir room at the south end of the main building. Cabinet work was donated by W. Shank in memory of his
mother Mary Shank.

Kurtzmann Grand Piano originally property of Mrs. Lawrence
Penniman’s mother, Mrs. Emma Davis

Bruner was rebuilt and restrung with parts from Steinway and
Sons, New York was donated and stored until the lounge was finished.  Mr. Wilfred Tull, technician rebuilt both—Steinway will sound and appear almost exactly as it did in 1915.

Austin Organ installed new organ in balcony.

1967- Mrs. Andrew Tynan deeded Tynan Woods to Church in
honor of Andrew G. Tynan.  Approved by
the Trustee Board a 99 year lease to the YMCA for development by the YMCA.  The YMCA granted the church use of the property.

Mrs. John E Fredrick deeded her residence of West Walnut Street to the church in honor of John E Fredrick, for use by the Women’s organizations and church school.  It later became Friendship Home, a home for disadvantaged girls.

1973- 100th Anniversary celebration on October.

1974- Exchange worship with Wayman AME.

1976- November 28th Pew cushions were given in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Ellis by their son Richard Ellis.

1988- 125th Anniversary celebration on November 20.

Note: the Chrismons around the Red velvet dossell. (Chrismon
= Christ monogram.) Gold and white—White is for the Christ purity and
perfection; Gold is for the majesty and glory of God.  The three Chrismons around the Cross are for the Father(right hand of God), Son (Lamb of God) and Holy Ghost (the dove.)  The Chrismons on both sides of the Cross depict the Christian Year: Advent Scroll, Christmas Rose, Star of Epiphany, Lent (Pelican and chicks), Easter butterfly, Ascension chariot, and Pentecost flames.

The memorial windows and glass in the lounge, chapel and
lobby were given as memorials as noted on each window.

 

Some interesting facts found during research:

Alien Kelvie, was a member of the first Congregational Church at southwest corner of Union & Mulberry Streets at the age of 12. (died in 1973) (Kelvie Press)

C.V. Haworth, Superintendent of Kokomo Schools (1913-1946)
was a born member of Union Street Friends Church and became a member of First Congregational the last six years of his life.
Mr. Haworth died in 1976 at the age of 101.

Bessie Fredrick, John Fredrick’s mother, was the first person in Kokomo who had a lighted outdoor Christmas Tree. Bessie died in 1978, at the age of 101.