First Congregational Church, Bethel, Connecticut:
Bethel’s first meetinghouse was organized in 1759 on Main Street when Captain Ebenezer Hickok donated land for a church and a burial ground. The original building burned down in 1842 and a second meetinghouse was erected. During a thunderstorm in 1865, the steeple was destroyed. The community decided to sell the building (now Bethel Historical Society) to the town and erect a new meetinghouse. In 1866, the third and final First Congregational Church of Bethel was built in the Italianate architectural style. The complete history of Bethel’s oldest church, entitled “History of a Yankee Church” was published by Lewis E. Goodsell Sr. in 1960.