A Brief History

Franklin Congregational Christian Church (FCCC) was organized on Sunday, April 29, 1883, by the Reverend M.L. Hurley.  There were eleven charter members.  The Church was admitted into the Eastern Virginia Conference of the Christian Church in November, 1883.

During the first year, building lots were purchased on North High Street, and a small brick church was erected at a cost of $3,000.  The membership grew and the Ladies Aid Society raised much of the money needed for construction of a parsonage next to the church. 

In the early 1900’s, FCCC was in a charge with Holy Neck and Bethany Churches.  Holy Neck Church withdrew in 1906 and in 1919, Bethany Church and FCCC merged.  The church grew rapidly under the leadership of Dr. C.H. Rowland and additional property was purchased to expand the building.

Eventually it was decided to replace the original building with a new structure.  In 1915, a two-story church of Gothic design was erected at a cost of $16,000.  That building remains as one of worshipful beauty.  The Sanctuary is adorned by three massive stained glass windows and a pipe organ.

Church growth continued under the leadership of a number of fine ministers.  In 1949, Rev. W.A. Grissom became pastor and plans were formulated to expand the education building.  Mr. R.C. Council was largely responsible for the planning and construction of the building and the church Fellowship Hall is named in his honor.

During the 1950’s, the church continued to be a vital part of the religious life of the Franklin community.  The church has been led by many well-educated and devoted ministers and lay people.  A number of former ministers subsequently filled places of leadership in the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

In 1957, The UCC was formed by the joining together of essentially four denominations (Congregational, Christian, Evangelical, and Reformed).  The FCCC formally joined the UCC in 1961, although the original church name was retained.  The church continues to be a part of the Eastern Virginia Association, The Southern Conference, and the United Church of Christ.

Time has brought both challenges and rewards.  Membership has remained fairly constant; however, recent years have brought a renewed interest in the church.  Major damage by termites necessitated an extensive renovation project in 2000.

We owe our heritage to many deceased members who played vital and active roles in the life of the church.  We are grateful for the new growth that our church has experienced and pray that we will be a beacon of hope for another one hundred twenty-five years!   To God Be the Glory!