Faith United Church, at the corner of Sumner Avenue and Fort Pleasant Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.
The church in 2017:
The origins of Faith United Church date back to the 1860s, when a chapel was established in the area, affiliated with the South Congregational Church. At the time, the present-day Forest Park area was only sparsely settled, with a small community centered around the corner of Longhill Street and Sumner Avenue. A small, wood-frame church was built here on this site in 1872, and served the needs of the residents for several decades. Finally, in 1894, with the congregation was organized as an independent church, becoming Faith Congregational Church.
This move coincided with the beginning of the large-scale development of Forest Park, which would become one of the city’s most desirable residential areas by the turn of the 20th century. With this rapid expansion, however, the old wooden church was no longer suitable for the growing neighborhood, and in 1912 it was replaced with the present-day church building. The new church was built on the same site of the original, and was designed by the Springfield architectural firm of Gardner & Gardner and built by the Springfield-based contractors Fred T. Ley & Co.
The Neo-Gothic Revival exterior of the church has not seen any substantial changes in over a century since it was completed. It looks essentially the same as it did when the first photo was taken in the late 1930s, and today the only noticeable difference between the two photos is the newer building in the distance on the left. Along with this, the building is still in use by the same church, although the name has changed slightly. In 1977, Faith Congregational Church merged with Hope Congregational Church, becoming Faith United Church, and this combined church continues to worship here in this building more than 40 years later.
3 thoughts on “Faith United Church, Springfield, Mass”
I am Kim DongJin, Chairman of The Hulbert Memorial Society, a commemorating body for Dr. Homer B. Hulbert who lived in Korea as educator, linguist, historian, journalist, missionary, and the Envoy of the Korean Emperor from 1886 to 1907. He was expelled by Japan in 1907 and returned to Springfield where he went to Faith Congregational Church until 1949 when he passed away in Korea. Dr. Hulbert who is honored by Korean government with the Order for Country Foundation and also the Golden Order for Culture and Art, is considered as the most respected foreigner in Korean history.
I would like to talk to someone in the church archives on Dr. Hulbert’s footprints in the Faith Congregational Church. Thus it would be greatly appreciated if I could obtain name, email address and/or phone number of the person in charge of the archives. For your info., my email address is email@example.com and phone number is 82 10 5265 7699. The website is http://www.hulbert.or.kr Thank you so much for your support in advance.
I am not affiliated with Faith United Church, but I would suggest contacting them through their website, http://faithunitedchurch.net/contact-us/. They should be able to help you out in your search.
I recently learned that Homer B. Hulbert was the original owner of our house, and I landed on this page while trying to learn more about him. I know he wasn’t the original topic of this post, but I thought I’d leave this comment just in case anyone else is interested in this history. The house he originally owned is at 36 Marengo Park, and we are currently using the first floor of the house as a Buddhist meditation center.