In the year ahead we’ll honor the past, celebrate the present, and lean into the future. This brochure will share some of the activities we’re planning to deepen understanding of our story, enrich the spirit, engage the community – and just have fun.



In the beginning…

October 11th, 1667… A petition was forwarded to the General Court which had assembled at Hartford the day previous, and was granted in the following words:

“This Court, upon the petition of the inhabitants of Kenilworth, doe hereby declare and give them theire approbation and encouragement to gather themselves into Church order according to the order of the Gospell.”

Thus the church was duly established, and John Woodbridge, a young man of twenty three, was ordained and installed as its first pastor.




To honor the past…

The Rev. Dr. Christopher C. Horvath will have monthly historical sermons. Throughout the year we will have an Indian River cemetery tour as well as historical speakers.



Celebrating the present…

Through music, arts, speakers, parades and parties, our families and the community will enjoy the fellowship and fun that makes us First Church.




Leaning into the future…

This is one of those milestone years when we are called to make a difference in the life of First Church and the communities around us.



Our celebration calendar…

Here are some of the events in store. Members and friends of all ages will find opportunities to learn, participate, contribute and enjoy.

  • August 12 & 13, 2016 – Summer Fair 
  • October 16, 2016 – 349th Birthday Celebration
  • November 20, 2016 - Harvest Sunday Special Offering of 350 bags of food for 350 years
  • December 4, 2016 - Christmas in Clinton – Chapel with historical information
  • January 2017 – Historical speaker
  • February 2017 – Historical speaker
  • March 2017 - Celebration of our relationship with Killingworth
                           “The Birds of Killingworth” based on a Poem By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • April 2017 - Musical Celebration
  • May 2017 - Anniversary Tea Honoring members who have been part of the church for 50 years or more
  • May 29, 2017 - Participate in the Memorial Day parade including adults and Sunday school children in period costumes
  • June 2017 - Special Beach Service
  • August 11 & 12, 2017 - Summer Fair
  • September 2017 - 350th Homecoming Celebration with old time games and historical scavenger hunt
  • October 2017 - Grand Birthday celebration – History of 350 years
  • November 2017 - Grand Finale Event - All Saints Day Service recognizing key moments in our history with voices from the past



This is the year to raise your hand... or wait until 2067.

Join us as we celebrate and rededicate the work of the church started by a small group of families 350 years ago. There’s something that everybody can do or give, and we hope that every member of the First Church community will play a role. 100% participation is our goal. If everyone joins in, it will be a year like no other in our history.

Are you in? We are!




The 350th Celebration Committee 

Les Browne 
Gail Carlisle 
Carol Fanning 
Lorraine Hill 
Richard and Sarah Marcinek 
David Rainey 
Dave and Sherry Smith 
Susan Thompson 
Rev. Dr. Christopher C. Horvath, Pastor 




Mission Statement 

For all ages to celebrate our church’s 350 years of history through worship, fellowship, educational programs and service.