FCCB's Motto

"No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!"



We are a family-friendly faith community, a historic New England Church, located at 46 Main Street, in the heart of downtown Bethel, CT.   We are a part of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ.  Steeped in history, we seek to bring with us the lessons of our past to nurture the ever changing spirit of our community and the world around us.


As a people of God, we seek to educate ourselves and our children in the ways of Christ, so we can learn to use our gifts to better our world and our community by spreading the Word of God.  We seek to create a warm and friendly environment within the church which will encourage all peoples to come and share their gifts in the service of God.  By nurturing and supporting individuals, small groups, and the church itself, we will effectively minister to specific human hurts and hopes in our Christian family, our local communities, and beyond.


We, the First Congregational Church of Bethel, United Church of Christ, is an Open and Affirming congregation, believing that each of us is created in God's image.  Following the One who we believe is Sovereign and Savior, we affirm that each individual is a Child of God, and welcome into our faith community persons of every race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, family structure, faith background, mental and physical ability, and economic circumstance.


All are welcome to participate fully in the life, leadership, ministry and mission of this congregation, as we seek to grow together in a safe and nurturing community of faith.  We commit ourselves to the ongoing work of being an Open and Affirming congregation, one that lives out the belief that God is still speaking.  With God's grace, we journey together in Christian faith.


Play the YouTube video (below) to see the work done when the Church's twin steeples were rebuilt.


The First Congregational Church of Bethel was gathered in 1759.  Captain Ebenezer Hickok granted land for the building and burial ground.  The original church burned down in 1842, and was rebuilt.  In 1865 the spire of the new building fell in a strong wind.  The meeting house was sold to the town and moved to the other side of the burial ground.  The congregation built a new structure on the site of the original meeting house, where we continue to worship today.


"History of a Yankee Church" is a pamphlet style document describing the origins of our congregation.  It was written by Lewis E. Goodsell, Sr. in the late 1950s.  You can download the document here!


The Bethel Historical Society, which shares our campus, is located in the "1842 Second Meeting House".  The two buildings are separated by the Church's original burial ground.  They have a wealth of information in the second floor museum and much can be seen on their comprehensive web site.  


"No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."

Ryan Gackenheimer

Senior Pastor

Reverend Ryan Gackenhemer is our Senior Pastor.  

Dana Mancuso

Music Director

Dana is happy to be a part of the FCCB community!

Kathy MacAulay

Church Secretary

Kathy is delighted to have joined the FCCB community!