The Old First Church was gathered in 1762, the first Protestant church in Vermont. Much of the early history of Bennington and of Vermont took place in and around the original Meeting House, built in 1763, and the present church, built in 1805 and dedicated January 1, 1806.  After a significant restoration of the meetinghouse in 1935, the Vermont Legislature honored this history by designating the church “Vermont’s Colonial Shrine”.

We warmly invite you to worship with us each Sunday.
September through June: 11:00 am
July and August: 10:00 am


We like to open the church for community events. The Yankee Male Chorus, August, 2007.


Rev. Kenneth A. Clarke, Pastor
Nancy Andrews, Office Administrator

We’re delighted to be the new hosts of The Farmhouse Nursery, a well-established Bennington service. The staff is here pictured in front of the Church Barn.


We’re associated with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. We support or have supported Church World Service and CROP, local community projects such as the Interfaith Council’s Emergency Assistance (“Food and Fuel”) Fund, free Sunday suppers at the Second Congregational Church, P.A.V.E. (Prevention Against Violent Encounters), Bennington Coalition for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity, Hospice, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Bennington Tutorial Center, an Afghanistan school building project, and broader-ranging groups such as Doctors Without Borders, Somotillo Sister City Project, the M.S. Society, Oxfam, Seeds for Peace and Heifer Project International.

Our biggest project is opening the church to visitors daily in the summer and early fall, and we staff such hospitality — called “Open Church” — with many volunteers. See the Visiting page to read about this important ministry.

Prior to the Iraq war, we corresponded with a church in Basra Iraq in order to share our prayers for peace with them. Our email correspondence is available for you to read here.

First Congregational Church of Old Bennington representatives Don Miller, Moderator, and Marsha Pilachowski, Tag Sale Chairperson, present a $1,000 check to Sue Andrews of the Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS). The Church supports GBCIS throughout the year and, for the eleventh consecutive year, shares the proceeds from the Old First Church’s Monumental Tag Sale.