The First Church of Christ is located on 75 Main Street in Farmington, CT. The church was founded in 1962. The First Church of Christ is known for serving many purposes and has been an important place for local history in Farmington. The first pastor of the church was Roger Newton, who was the son-in-law of Hartford founder Thomas Hooker. Noah Porter was the church’s seventh minister and served when the Underground Railroad was at its peak.
Before the church was used as an Underground Railroad stop, the Native Americans used the church for a “Sabbath School”. The Sabbath school taught Native Americans how to become Christians and forget about their culture. The church was the first place in the country where the “Sabbath School” was taught. Not only was the church a significant part of Native American history, it is also a very important place for the Underground Railroad. Slaves who escaped from their landowners came to the church to get help on their way to freedom. At this time in Farmington, there were many supporters of the abolitionist movement who helped the slaves on their way to the free life. The supporters of the abolitionist movement helped the slaves out by bringing them food and keeping them safe. Farmington was often called “Grand Central Station” because of the abolitionist activities going on in town. The Amistad Africans were also in very good hands in the church. They were provided with food, clothes, housing and education. Mendi was a well-known group of Amistad Africans who were introduced to the church when they arrived to Farmington, where they started attending weekly services. Just before to their return to Africa, Sengbe Pieh, who was their leader, had a moving address in their native tongue.
Many slaves were helped to escape up north. Not only were the slaves that escaped taken good care of, there were many people caring about them and it is estimated that around 30,000 slaves were helped on their way to freedom through Farmington. The First Church of Christ was very important on slaves’ way to freedom and still is an important part of history today. After being a part of something so big for the abolitionist movement, the church was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.