Exploring the History of Our Congregational Church
The Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church was established in June 1875 and held its first worship services in a schoolhouse. A month later, the former Tompkins Avenue Presbyterian Church building, located on the corner of McDonough Street and Tompkins Avenue, became available due to foreclosure on its $61,000 mortgage and was rented for the use of the new Church.
In March 1881, the society purchased the building for $40,000. Under the Rev. George F. Pentecost, D.D. pastorate, the church membership had steadily grown to almost 1000. In 1887, the Rev. Dr. Robert R. Meredith of Boston was called to the pastorate, and by 1888 it became apparent that a larger church would be needed. A plot of land directly across the street from the old Church, on the southwest corner of Tompkins Avenue and McDonough Street, was purchased for $26,000.
Plans were drawn up for a new church which would be completed by January 1, 1889, cost $70,000, and seat over 2000 people.
The Flatbush Congregational Church started its worship service in 1899 in a Masonic Lodge on Flatbush Avenue between Caton and Church Avenues. By September of 1899, the membership grew to 39. On November 5, the congregation moved to a store on Flatbush Avenue between Cortelyou and Dorchester Roads. Subsequently, the land was purchased on Dorchester Road, and the Church was dedicated on October 14, 1900. The multi-dormered Shingle Style building dates to 1899. It has multiple angles and "sides," If this form were carried out for the total diameter of the building, it would have sixteen sides, making it hexadecane. This original building is still standing and is now called "The Concert Hall."
Our Church traces its roots back to a group of Congregationalists who held their first meeting in a schoolhouse on Tompkins Avenue near McDonough Street on June 6, 1875, to organize a new Church, the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church.
In the spring of 1899, a home meeting was held, which led to the formation of the Flatbush Congregational Church. The first meetings were held in a Masonic lodge on Flatbush Avenue and later in a store before the land was purchased on Dorchester Road. On October 14, 1900, the Flatbush Congregational Church dedicated the Old Church's first building.
Services and Sunday School were held in the Old Church from 1900 until the erection of the current red brick and limestone building fronting on Dorchester Road. The New Church was officially dedicated on October 2, 1910.
On May 27, 1942, the Flatbush Congregational Church and the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church voted to merge, creating the Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church of Brooklyn. During the middle of the 20th century, Flatbush-Tompkins was the largest Congregational Church in the United States, with over four thousand members on the rolls.
WE ARE A NEW YORK CITY LANDMARK
Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church is recognized as an important historical and architectural landmark within the Brooklyn community and New York. The Church traces its roots back to a group of Congregationalists. While Flatbush-Tompkins is a member of the National Association of Christian Congregational Churches (NACCC), the Church is an autonomous body, and its members are from diverse religious backgrounds.