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FLCR 2012 - bldg.jpg


FLCR was created by Swedish immigrants who settled in the New Britain area in the 1870s and shared a Lutheran heritage. Slowly, members were assimilated into the community and became Americanized, but the church remained their religious and social center. Even now, many current members with deep family roots remain in the congregation, but they are just part of the membership that includes multiple nationalities, diverse races and sexual identities who worship and work together, laugh and cry together – just like any family.
Our early congregation focused on building up its membership. We outgrew our first church home which was established by 28 founding members and dedicated in 1885. Membership grew so quickly that by 1906 work on the present Franklin Square structure was dedicated and membership then reached 1000.
The interior of the Gothic style church retains its original beauty including remarkable stained glass windows and a magnificent pipe organ. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated a substantial sum to help pay for both the windows and the organ. The elegance of First remains over 100 years later.
As was typical, the downstairs accommodated social events – meetings, Sunday school, wedding receptions, work groups, and countless dinners prepared by the church women. Overseas mission groups were formed and supported. During the World Wars, members gathered and worked to support the war efforts from home while many of our young men were fighting for our country. Activities continue today, both social and purposeful.
As time passed, the needs of our members were met and we expanded our mission work beyond our doors. Overseas mission groups were formed and supported.
More recently, the need for our services has shifted and focused on our immediate neighbors. In the shadows of this once flourishing industrial city, many residents are in need, or homeless, and our focus has become meeting their plight. All, poor or just hungry, gather every Wednesday evening where, after a brief worship service, a pasta dinner with all the fixings is served. Twice a month, we open the adjoining Clothing Rack where good, gently used clothing is made available to those in need at no cost.
We continue to dedicate ourselves to living Christian lives of worship and service with joy and enthusiasm, and we welcome others to join us in our worship, fellowship, and service to God, our neighbors and humanity.

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