Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church

Location: 424 East 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11226
Telephone: 718-282-5353
E-mail: info@ftcchurch.org
Website: http://www.ftcchurch.org/

The Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church was formed on May 27, 1942 through a merger of The Flatbush Congregational Church and The Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church. The latter began in a school house on Tompkins Avenue in June, 1875. In July of that year, the church rented and later purchased the building of the Tompkins Avenue Presbyterian Church located at McDonough Street and Tompkins Avenue. Under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Robert R. Meridith of Boston, the congregation bought a plot of land across the street and built a new church. When the new building opened in January, 1889, it was the largest church structure and the second largest Congregational Church membership in the country. The membership grew to over 2,400 members and was often referred to as “Dr. Meredith’s Church.”

The Flatbush Congregational Church was organized in September, 1899. The congregation held the meetings in a Masonic lodge on Flatbush Avenue and later in a store. The lodge was dedicated the “Old Church” on October 14, 1900. Around this time, the congregation purchased land on Dorchester Road with hopes of building a new church. On October 2, 1910, the “New Church” was dedicated and the service and sunday school moved to the location.

When the churches merged in 1942, the new membership was over 4,000 making it the largest Congregational Church in the United States at the time. The conregation has since occupied the “New Church'” building. The church’s demographics have changed with the community, going from predominantly from Dutch in its early days, to Scandinavian, Irish, Italian, Russian, West Indian, and Afro-American in to 1920s, to primarily Afro-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Latino today. Music is especially important in the church, having both youth and adult choirs. The Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church is often seen as an important historical and architectural landmark within the Brooklyn and New York City. The neo-Georgian “New Church”,  the beautiful and architecturally unique “Old Church,” the stately Parish House, and the handsome neighborhood parsonage all add to the picturesque architecture of the Ditmas-Park Community .

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