First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

We Rise Like a Phoenix

Finding hope in adversity.

Rev Pat Kriss(Posted May 4, 2023)

“Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.”
-- Cassandre Clare, City of Heavenly Fire

This Sunday is a celebration for First Church. It’s Anniversary Sunday. Now, if you’re a new member of First Church or joined with us in the last couple of years, you might wonder, “what Anniversary are we marking?”

The front of our Sunday bulletin will give everyone a clue.

Church Services on Sunday

In-Person Service begins at 10 a.m. Facemasks are optional if you are fully vaccinated.

Watch us on Facebook: We livestream our services to Facebook. You may view them live or on demand at

There’s an illustration of a Phoenix there – the mythical bird that is capable of facing destruction by fire, but then rises anew from its own ashes. And that, essentially is what the First Congregational Church did when in 1907 our Fourth Meetinghouse -- on Main Street when Danbury Savings Bank stands today -- burned to the ground.

Nothing of the building was left, and were it not for the heroic actions of a few men who carried the Emerson Pulpit out of the fully engulfed building, not even that would have survived. When a community like ours faces adversity, we know how important it is to keep the ember of hope alive and fan it with our plans for a future.

Finding Hope in Adversity

When a fire turned the massive bell in our steeple into a molten puddle of metal what did our religious forebears do? They turned the metal into dinner bells that were sold to raise funds for a new meeting house. The church bell, not silenced, rang inside the dining rooms of a hundred houses, instead.

So it is each May that we celebrate Anniversary Sunday, when our current meeting house was dedicated on May 3, 1909. Each year nearest that date we celebrate and honor our long-time members who really are the “feathers” on the Phoenix that is First Church.

This Sunday I will be sharing a few secrets, surprises and unspoken stories of the church we all thought we knew so well, that I discovered while completing my Doctorate on First Church. Come and be entertained.


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


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