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13. First Congregational Church (1842-    )

First Congregational Church

First Congregational Church, n.d.

106 North Main Street

The construction of the First Congregational Church was begun in 1842, and the building was enclosed that year. The commencement exercises were held in it in August, 1843, although it was still unfinished. It was completed in August, 1844, and at that time it was the largest building west of the Allegheny mountains. Its total cost was $12,000. It was built of brick and was characterized by rare simplicity and proportion. The audience room furnished seating capacity for 1400 people, and upon many occasions more than 2000 people have been crowded into it. It was used for church services, the Commencement and other public exercises of the Institute and College, and for town meetings. It was the church home for all Oberlin people from 1843 to 1860. In 1860 a membership of 1545 seemed to make necessary a division, resulting in the organization of a second church, called the Second Congregational Church. In 1908, and again in 1927, extensive repairs, alterations, and replacements were made.

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