First Central Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.) [RG4415.AM]


RG4415.AM:  First Central Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.)

Records:  1856-1980

Omaha, Douglas County, Neb.:  Congregational Church

Size:  45 volumes on 6 reels of microfilm


The Rev. Reuben Gaylord, the “father of Nebraska Congregationalism,” founded the First Congregational Church of Omaha on May 4, 1856. In addition to the Rev. Gaylord, the charter members included his wife Mary, daughter Sarah, Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. B.H. Chapman, James W. Seymour, and a Miss Allen. In 1918 the First Congregational Church and the St. Mary’s Avenue Congregational Church merged to form the First Central Congregational Church. The St. Mary’s Avenue Church had been established in 1883 under the guidance of Rev. William Scott.

In 1971 the First United Church of Christ (formerly the First Evangelical and Reformed Church) merged with the First Central Congregational Church to form the present organization. Additional historical information about the history of the First Central Congregational Church and related churches can be found by consulting records within the collection.


This collection consists of the Records of the First Central Congregational Church of Omaha, Nebraska, including related churches, arranged in three subgroups on six rolls of microfilm: (1) Records of the First Central Congregational Church, 1856-1977; (2) Records of the St. Mary’s Avenue Congregational Church, 1883-1918; and (3) Records of the First United Church of Christ, 1900-1971.

Subgroup 1 contains records relating to the First Central Congregational Church of Omaha from its establishment in 1856 as the First Congregational Church, through 1977. The bulk of the records in this subgroup consists of minutes of board and congregational meetings, church registers of members, baptisms, deaths, and marriages, and records of various church organizations. Building committee records 1885-1889 are included.

Subgroup 2 includes the Records of the St. Mary’s Avenue Congregational Church, 1883-1918, which relate to its history and activities as a separate church prior to merger with the First Congregational Church in 1918. Church registers containing memberships, board minutes, deaths, and baptisms, make up the bulk of this subgroup.

Subgroup 3, records of the First United Church of Christ, 1900-1970 (formerly the First Evangelical and Reformed Church) comprise the record of church activities up until the merger with the First Central Congregational Church in 1971. The records within this subgroup are largely minutes and church registers which include memberships, marriages, baptisms, and deaths prior to 1971. Documents regarding the merger with the First Central Congregational Church are included.

The records were loaned for microfilming in 1978.


Subgroup 1: First Central Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.) records, 1856-1977

Series 1 – Minutes of Board of Trustees and Church Meetings, 1874-1975

Reel 1


    1. Constitution, 1874

      Membership list

      Minutes of 1st Congregational Church Society, 1874-1888

      Constitution, 1888

    1. Minutes of the 1st Congregational Church Society, 1889-1911

    1. Minutes of the Society, Board of Trustees and Church Meetings, 1911-1918

    1. Minutes of Annual and Special Meetings, 1918-1921

    1. Minutes of the Board of Trustees, 1918-1932

    1. Minutes of the Board of Trustees, 1937-1943

    1. Minutes of the Board of Trustees (Including Financial Reports), 1944-1950

    1. Minutes of the Board of Trustees, 1963-1972

    1. Minutes of the Cabinet, 1965-1975

Series 2 – Church Registers, 1856-1968

Reel 2


    1. Memberships, 1856-1968

      Baptisms, 1875-1901

      Deaths, 1876-1892

    1. Memberships, 1919-1946

    1. Baptismal Record, 1919-1961

    1. Marriages & Funerals, 1938-1957

    1. Baptisms, 1958-1962

      Memberships, 1958-1968

      Marriages, 1958-1961

      Funerals, 1958-1962

      Record of Sermons, 1958-1962

Series 3 – Correspondence, 1889-1912


    1. Letterpress book, 1st Congregational Society, 1889-1912

    1. Misc. Correspondence

Series 4 – Building Committee records, 1885-1889


    1. Minutes of the Building Committee, 1885-1888 (19th and Davenport)

    1. Letterpress book, 1885-1888

    1. Building Fund Record, 1886-1889

Series 5 – Fiscal Records, 1886-1954


    1. Pledge Book, 1886-1889

    1. Cash Book, 1908-1913

Reel 3


    1. Cash Book, 1914-1918

    1. General Ledger, 1916-1917

    1. Monthly Ledger, 1910-1918

    1. Monthly and annual financial statements, 1919-1941, incomplete (may be duplicated in Board of Trustees minutes)

    1. Misc. Budget pamphlets, 1934, 1953-1954

Series 6 – Records of Church Organizations, 1888-1978


    1. Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, 1888-1890

      Constitutions, memberships, minutes

    1. Women’s Association, minutes, 1943-1952

      Pamphlets-Women’s Association yearbooks, 1920-1978 (Incomplete)

    1. Women’s Association Scrapbook, 1945-1951

Reel 4


    1. Bell Choir scrapbook, 1959-1965

Series 7 – Annual Reports, 1942, 1952-1978, 1980

Mimeographed Annual Reports, 1942, 1952, 1954-1959, 1961-1978

Series 8 – Membership Lists and Directories, 1885-1977

Pre. 1885, 1923, 1928, 1954, 1960, 1966, 1977

Series 9 – Programs and Bulletins, 1877-1967


    1. Installation and ordination of ministers and missionaries, 1951-1967

    1. Anniversary and Dedication programs

Series 10 – Miscellany


    1. Rev. Frank Smith File, 1918-1937

    1. Rev. John Phillips File, ca. 1937

    1. Various historical documents and data

    1. Printed pamphlets

    1. Data on the Church organ and music

    1. Mortuary Slips and newspaper death notices, random dates

Subgroup 2: St. Mary’s Avenue Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.) records, 1883-1918

Series 1 – Church Record Books, 1883-1918

Reel 5


    1. Church Record, 1883-1903

      Constitution, 1883

      Members, 1883-1900

      Minutes, Board of Trustees, 1883-1903

      Dismissals and Deaths, 1884-1898

      Minutes of Church meetings, 1883-1899

      Minutes of Advisory Board 1883-1900

    1. Church Record, 1900-1918



      Baptisms, 1900-1905

      Members, 1900-1918

    1. Church Record, 1900-1918

      Constitution, 1908

      Minutes of the Church, 1900-1918 (Includes Minutes of the Advisory Board)

    1. Minutes of the Council, 1908-1918

    1. Minutes of the Society of St. Mary’s Avenue Congregational Church, 1896-1918

    1. Constitution and Minutes of the Young People’s Society, 1916-1917

    1. Cash book, 1916-1917

Series 2 – Records of the Women’s Fellowship (Ladies Society), 1895-1918


    1. Yearbooks, 1895-1918 (Incomplete)

Series 3 – Membership Lists and Directories, 1884-1900 (Incomplete)

Reel 6

Membership lists and directories, 1884, 1886, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1893, 1900

Series 4 – Miscellany


    1. Misc. printed pamphlets and programs

    1. File regarding Rev. G.A. Hulbert, 1914-1916 and Rev. Lucius Baird, 1905-1910

    1. Various reports and documents relating to merger with 1st Congregational Church

Subgroup 3: First United Church of Christ (Omaha, Neb.) [Formerly First Evangelical and Reformed Church], 1900-1970

Series 1 – Church Records, 1900-1970


    1. Minutes of the Trustees and Church Meetings, 1934-1938

    1. Minutes of the Council and Church Meetings, 1953-1955

    1. Minutes of the Consistory and Church Meetings, 1955-1960, 1969

    1. Constitution, 1936 and Membership Book, 1942-1955

    1. Church Record – St. John’s Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1900-1955 (In German)

    1. Church Record, 1954-1960 (Includes members, baptisms, marriages, deaths)

    1. Account Ledger, 1961-1970

Series 2 – Miscellany


    1. List of Sunday School pupils and teachers, 1950s-1960s

      Documents regarding merger of First UCC with First Central Congregational Church, 1971

    1. Annual Reports, 1980 (unfilmed)



Congregational Church in Nebraska

Douglas County (Neb.) — Churches

Evangelical and Reformed Church in Nebraska

First Central Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.)

First Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.)

First Evangelical and Reformed Church (Omaha, Neb.)

First United Church of Christ (Omaha, Neb.)

Omaha (Neb.) — Churches

St. John’s Evangelical and Reformed Church (Omaha, Neb.)

St. Mary’s Avenue Congregational Church (Omaha, Neb.)

United Church of Christ in Nebraska


Revised 09-24-2008   TMM

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