Center Church’s Journey

The First Church of Christ in Hartford (Center Church) is a dynamic sacred place that is a hub for community initiatives in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area. Center Church and Partners began collaborating on a feasibility study to assess the need for a capital campaign and possible strategies that could be successful. Center Church’s achievements, transitioning from a feasibility study into a full blown capital campaign, have been remarkable.

Despite the congregation’s share of turning points and difficulties, it has been able to raise almost $1,000,000. Midway through the process, the church experienced a change in clergy and lay leadership, which can frequently stall or hinder a campaign. Fortunately, with dedication, boldness, and guidance from Partners, the congregation was able to reach its goal. Center Church’s new pastor, Rev. Shelly Stackhouse, is a thoughtful and inspiring leader who has worked tirelessly, always with the humility to listen and to learn. Enormous credit is also due to the lay campaign co-chairs who came on board soon after Rev. Stackhouse was called to the church.

The church is a participant in the National Fund for Sacred Places and received $250,000 in matching capital grant funds for the restoration of the church’s steeple and bell to ensure continued use of the building by the congregation and community. Partners’ collaboration with Center Church has been remarkable, and we look forward to following the congregation as it moves into bright future.