The History of Our Building

The First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs was organized and founded in 1874 in conjunction with the founding of Colorado College. The first two ministers of the church, Rev. Jonathan Edwards and Rev. James Dougherty, also held positions with the college.
The present building on the corner of St. Vrain and Tejon was completed in 1889 at an estimated cost of $40,000. Its design is in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and is constructed of Colorado Wall Mountain Tuft (rhyolite) quarried near Castle Rock, Colorado. The architect was Henry Rutgers Marshall of New York and there is only one other church known to have been designed by him: Arlington Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY (1905,  Arlington Avenue Presbyterian Church – Brooklyn, NY ). The first service in the current building was held on 21 July 1889 and the new building soon became a landmark in Colorado Springs. An early article in the then Weekly Gazette newspaper commented that “the design of the building is unique and has attracted much attention and admiration.”

The interior of the church is in the plan of a Greek cross with an octagonal dome rising above the north nave. The lower walls of the sanctuary are paneled in light oak to match the pews with notable stained glass throughout. The original organ was designed by Hook and Hastings of Boston and is the oldest organ in continuous use in Colorado Springs.
Additions to the present building include the Founders Room in 1903, the Christian Education Building in 1959 and the atrium in 1996. Alterations and improvement were made to the main building in 1910 and extensive restoration work to the interior of the building was completed in 2011.
First Congregational Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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