The First Congregational Church is Alpena’s oldest organized church, founded March 2, 1862. Religious gatherings were held at the home of Daniel and Sarah Carter, Alpena’s first white settlers. These meetings evolved into the First Congregational Church.
The first church building was a wooden structure completed in 1868 with Daniel G. Bisbee as the founding pastor.
The second church building was completed in 1892. This building incorporated the first structure and was constructed of brick and stone. It was completely removed to make way for the third church building.
The third building, the current church home, is constructed of concrete masonry and was completed in 1955. The building was made possible by the generosity of Jesse H. and Anna M. Besser, industrialists and philanthropists. Jesse Besser, who invented concrete block manufacturing equipment, had a strong interest in seeing what could be accomplished in building a monumental structure in the Gothic style, using concrete products manufactured by the Besser Company.
In 1961 the congregation joined the United Church of Christ thus creating the First Congregational United Church of Christ.
In 2012 the congregation celebrated its 150th anniversary. The church is 150 years strong, and looking toward the next 150 years.
The current site of the First Congregational Church of Alpena was acquired in stages. The first lots were purchased from George N. Fletcher in 1868. In 1909 an additional 30 feet was purchased from A.W. Comstock, a member of another pioneer Alpena family. In 1919 the remainder lots were purchased from A.W. Comstock, thus completing what is the church’s current location.