Churches in Connecticut: All you need to know

Want to know more about Churches in Connecticut? This article gives an overview of local churches and their members. I will also include some local history and facts.

How many churches are there in CT?

There are more than 2,600 religious organizations in Connecticut. The majority are registered as Christian non-profit organizations, followed by Jewish organizations.

Who goes to church in CT?

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 37% of Connecticut residents attend church regularly.

However, far more people believe in God in Connecticut: more than 80% of its residents. Most of the believers are Christians (70%). Among them, Protestants and Catholics split the difference.

Contrary to popular belief, not just old people attend Churches. People of all ages go to church in Connecticut. Churchgoers between 30 and 49 are the largest group (35%), followed by people between 50 and 64 (33%).

A bit more women (58%) attend churches than men (42%). Nearly half of the churchgoers are married (48%).

The demographic of churchgoers is 73% white, 14% Latino, and 10% black, similar to the demographic of the general population.

However, it doesn’t translate to what you will see when walking into a Church. Similar to the United States as a whole, the racial composition of churches in Connecticut varies widely.

You will have no problem finding a church in Connecticut with predominantly white, black, Hispanic, or Chinese members.

Previous research suggested that it is difficult to sustain a racially diverse church membership, so it is no surprise that they are in the minority. However, the payoff is big: A racially diverse church has higher average attendance over time.

We, Southern Connecticut Church of Christ, are a racially diverse church.

Church denominations in CT

The Catholic and Protestant Christian churches account for most churches in Connecticut.

If you meet a Protestant Christian in Connecticut, he/she is most likely to go to a Mainline Church (17%), followed by an Evangelical (13%) and historically black churches (5%).

Churches in Connecticut can be divided into three main groups.

  • Mainline: The big ones are the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the United Methodist Church. They have historical roots in the U.S. and have more progressive theological views and social policies.
  • Evangelical: Representatives are Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, and Evangelical Free Church of America. These churches emphasize the authority of the Bible, personal conversion experiences, and evangelism.
  • Non-Denominational: These churches are not affiliated with established denominations and often focus on practical, non-traditional approaches to worship and community engagement.

We, Southern Connecticut Church of Christ, are a non-denominational church.

Mega churches in CT

The success of a church should not be measured by its size. But if you are looking for a church with more than 2,000 members (A megachurch as defined by the Hartford Insitute for Religious Studies), here’s a list for you!

  • Valley Community Baptist Church (Avon, CT)
  • Walnut Hill Community Church (Bethel, CT)
  • First Cathedral (Bloomfield, CT)
  • New Beginnings Community Church (Darien, CT)
  • Crossroads Community Cathedral (East Hartford, CT)
  • Black Rock Congregational Church (Fairfield, CT)
  • Kingdom Life Christian Church (Milford, CT)
  • Faith Church (New Milford, CT)

What was the church collapsed in CT?

On January 25, 2024, the steeple of the First Congregational Church, located at 66 Union Street in New London, CT, collapsed. One person was inside the church during the collapse, but luckily, no one was injured.

The roof of the historic First Congregational Church collapsed. (Image: CBS New, New York)

About the Church

The historical church was built in 1851 by Leopold Eidlitz, an American architect who redesigned the New York State Capitol. A bell was installed in the 1870s to call people to meetings and sound fire alarms.

The church features a German Gothic style and is a symbol in the local community.

Church history in Connecticut

The first churches in Connecticut

The first Church was established by the first settlers in Connecticut in the 1630s in Windsor, CT. It was rightly named as the First Church of Windsor…

First Church of Windsor (Image: John Phelan)

The church’s origins trace back to a group of 140 men and women from Plymouth, England. These settlers originally landed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and eventually made their way to what is now the Connecticut River Valley. By 1633, the first settlement in Connecticut was established in Windsor.

The First Church of Christ in Hartford is a close contender. Established in 1636 by Thomas Hooker, it is the first church congregation in Hartford.

First Church of Christ in Hartford (Image: Center Church)

Church and State

In Connecticut’s early history, there was no separation of the church and the state. The governor had to be a church member.

The Congregational Church was the colony’s official church. Initially, all Connecticut residents were expected to pay taxes to the church. The requirement was gradually exempted as other denominational churches were established in Connecticut.

By 1790, one-third of religious organizations are Episcopalian or Baptist.

In 1818, the Congregational Church was no longer the official church of the state.

In 1843, Jewish congregations were allowed to incorporate in Connecticut.

Historical church buildings in Connecticut

As one of the early Colonies, you can expect to find some old church buildings in Connecticut!

Trinity Episcopal Church (Torrington)

Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington was originally built with wood in 1844. The congregation grew rapidly as Torrington industrialized in the second half of the 19th century. The present granite church building was rebuilt in 1897.

Trinity Episcopal Church (Image: Ron R)

Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green (New Haven)

The Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven opened in 1814. It is one of the first Gothic-style buildings in the United States.

Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green (Image: Church)

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Waterbury)

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic church in Waterbury, CT. The current church building opened in 1928. It is famous for its pipe organ.

By Andy Wong

Avatar photoAndy Wong is a member of Southern CT Church of Christ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *