History

The First Congregational Church in Glenwood began in 1856 at the home of Mr. William Hopkins on Walnut Street.  After earnest deliberations and prayers, with the counsel of Rev. John Todd of Tabor, Iowa, they decided to organize.  Articles of Faith were adopted and they entered into a covenant with each other and with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Trustees selected in 1857 to lead this new church were D.C. Briggs, William Hopkins and E.C. Bosbyshell.

The newly founded congregation generated $500.00 to start building a church.  The actual cost was $5,000.00 and two of the founders assumed the debt.  The basement of the church was used as a pork packing plant to raise enough money to finish the church and pay off the debt. In 1860, Rev. Tingley from Michigan came to the church as pastor, following the founding “Father,” Rev. Todd.  The bell, which is now in front of the church was purchased during Rev. Tingley’s tenure and is still rung each Sunday morning. The present church building is the oldest building in Glenwood that is still being used for its original purpose. In 1957, the church joined the new denomination — the United Church of Christ.  The UCC is a fitting place for First Congregational to be in covenantal ministry today and in the future.