The First Congregational Church

The First Congregational Church (HMKTH)

Location: Champaign, IL 61820 Champaign County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 7.033', W 88° 14.332'

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Champaign Historic Site

The First Congregational Church, built in 1855-56, was popularly known as the "Goose Pond" Church, because the site was once a water-filled area, home to flocks of wild geese and ducks. The church became a meeting center for numerous groups aspiring to improve life in the booming "New Town" then rising up along the tracks of the recently completed Illinois Central Railroad.
The congregation and its minister were strongly opposed to American slavery, and worked openly and earnestly to eliminate it during the ante-bellum period. They accepted with pleasure being hailed as the "Abolitionist" Church. Among many notable anti-slavery orators who spoke within the walls of the Goose Pond Church were Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy, brother of the martyred journalist Elijah P. Lovejoy.
Dramatic testimony of Goose Pond Congregation's openness to those who were dedicated to the eradication of slavery came when a community-wide memorial service was held at the church on December 11, 1859, in honor of the hanged abolitionist and insurrectionist John Brown, of the Harper's Ferry incident.
The growth of the congregation prompted a move to a larger sanctuary in 1866. The Goose Pond Church was sold to the Baptists, who later sold it to the German Catholics. The building was moved from this site to 23 South Locust Street and became St. John's German Catholic Church.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:06pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 394430 N 4441502
Decimal Degrees40.11721667, -88.23886667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 7.033', W 88° 14.332'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 7' 1.98" N, 88° 14' 19.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217, 312, 618
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 75 E Main St, Champaign IL 61820, US
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