Asylum Hill Congregational Church Re-Dedicated Its Newly Restored Sanctuary

10/06/1985 |


The church rededicated its newly restored sanctuary at its Sunday service. 

  1. James Kidd led the ceremony.
  2. The service included
    • a festival procession featuring the choir, organ, handbells and music for trumpet, all under the direction of Richard Einsel.
    • Daniel George, a tenor soloist, performed “Elijah” by Felix Mendelsohn.
  3. Bernard Drew participated in the ceremony as well.

  1. The rededication ceremony was the culmination of a 5-year, $250,000 campaign to restore the sanctuary.
  2. The church had welcomed 500 new members in 5 years.
  3. The newly formed Templo Gloria had 50 members. AHCC contributed $50,000 a year to Templo Gloria, which met at the church.

The Courant article came out the day before the rededication service.  So far, I haven’t found any articles about the event after it took place.

Bernard Drew had cited recruiting new members and connecting with Asylum Hill and Hartford as challenges the church would face on March 21, 1973.

Daniel George had been singing during the Sunday service at Asylum Hill Congregational Church on the day his son Justin was born.  Justin was now 25 and employed at Aetna Life & Casualty.

  1. “Asylum Hill Congregational Church, which has bucked a national trend by committing itself to its city neighborhood, will reaffirm its decision Sunday when it rededicates its newly restored sanctuary.”
  2. According to James Kidd: “Many inner-city Protestant churches continue to decline.  Very few are the exception, and we are a dramatic exception.” 
  3. “About 12 years ago, the congregation was asked whether it wanted to stay in Hartford or to relocate to the suburbs because of declining membership. ‘We voted to say and this [rededication ceremony] is a reaffirmation of that decision,’ Kidd said.”
  4. “The church, which has three full-time ministers, is adding a fourth minister soon to work among the single adults and youth in the city.”

  1. Bernard Drew was minister emeritus of the church. He had retired to Arizona.
  2. Daniel George had been soloist at the church for 10 years, and his company, Daniel George Inc., was one of the lead contractors on the restoration project.
  3. John Canning, who also worked on the restoration project, had recently completed work on the governor’s office at the State Capitol.

Neyer, Constance, “Asylum Hill Church to Reaffirm Its Commitment to Urban Setting,” Hartford Courant, October 5, 1985, page AB1D.

Asylum Hill Congregational Church


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