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Holy Roots: The History of Houses of Worship in Stamford 1641-2000
September 22 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Join us for the Opening Reception for the Stamford History Center’s Exhibit Holy Roots: The History of Houses of Worship, September 22, from 2- to 4 p.m.
This exhibit illustrates the development and growth of religious denominations in Stamford from the time of its founding until 2000.
For the first 75 years of its history, the Congregational Church was the only house of worship in Stamford. In 1706, the first meeting of Anglicans occurred, however they did not secure land or permission to build a house of worship until 1742. Thereafter, denominations multiply with the Methodists and Baptists established by the end of the 18th century. The first Catholic Church is built on Meadow Street in 1850. Agudath Shalom, Stamford’s first synagogue, is organized by 1889.
With the increase in immigration, churches multiply and tend to have an ethnic base whether it be Polish, Italian, Greek or Russian. While some denominations limited the number of churches and separate congregations such as the Presbyterians and Baptists, other denominations witnessed an explosion of separate parishes. Many houses of worship also were built as a result of schisms or splits with the original church. Union Baptist, the first African-American church in Stamford broke off from the Stamford Baptist Church. Temple Beth-El had its roots in Agudath Sholom.
Stamford’s houses of worship continue to spread and change as old faiths lose congregants to newer, less traditional models. Yet, houses of worship continue to endure and provide another element bonding the people of the community together.