Main Street

The church stands on the west side of Main Street, on a wooded lot near the north corner of the junction of Main Street and Wallingford Road.

  • Record ID: 77
  • Address: Main Street
  • Current Owner: United Churches Corporation,
  • Name of Building: First Church of Christ
  • Historic Name: North Congregational Church
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

Antapilasters are at each corner of the facade behind the colonnade. The double-length central doorway is surmounted by a flat cornice, which in turn is supported by two
scrolled consoles. Above and within is a large wooden rosette. The double-leaf doors each have a recessed triple panel within, and a transom above. The full-length steps
are wooden. The early Colonial Revival style spire is round with four face clocks. Corinthian columns surround the louvred belfry and rise to a round entablature with a
dentil course. The rest of the spire has’ fish-scale shingling to the top. The north and south sides of the building have three-quarter length 24/24 sash windows. A gable-roofed
addition has been made to the southwest corner of the main building. The addition’s portico is supported by four square, fluted posts connected by a curved spandrel. A vertical-flushboarded skirt covers its coursed sandstone block foundation.

Historical or Architectural Importance

The First Church of Christ in Durham is a 2 1/2 story, gable-to-street Greek Revival style structure built in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wooden, post-and-beam frame has an asphalt-shingled roof, a clapboard exterior, and a coursed sandstone foundation. This building was the fourth meeting house of the Congregational Church to be” erected in
Durham. The third meeting house, which stood on the site of the present Town Hall, burned in 1844. The schism between the north and south congregations of Durham occurred soon afterwards. The North Congregational Church was dedicated in 1847 and the South Congregational Church (the present Town Hall building) in 1849. Denis Camp granted the lot for the North Church in 1847 to the First Ecclesiastical Society of Durham ” … for the purpose of building a Church thereon … 11 (DLR 19:310). When the United Churches Corporation was formed, the North Church was given its present name, the First Church of Christ. The First Church of Christ is significant as one of Durham’s ecclesiastical structures. It owes its origins to a nineteenth century religious schism in the community.