Title

The First Parish Church in Portland is living history in the heart of the city.

Source

Down East

Date

12-1-2001

Pages

60-63, 81

Abstract

The First Parish Church in Portland is living history in the heart of the city. There are older buildings, but few that have played the same role in the life of the city for more than 200 years. A bronze plaque on its granite facade notes that between Oct. 12-29, 1819, the Constitution of the State of Maine was drafted within the walls of the old wooden church that previously occupied the site. Inside, the boxed pews are marked to identify the great men who once worshipped there, among them Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and a visiting Secretary of War named Jefferson Davis. The ashes of Hermann Kotzschmar, organist at First Parish for 47 years, repose in an urn in the choir loft. Today, it is an active Unitarian-Universalist church whose members support many peace and justice issues, chief among them equal rights for gay and lesbian people. Rev. William Leggett, pastor of First Parish, is the church's first openly gay minister. With a brief history of the church, which was founded in 1724.

Subjects

Churches Portland First Parish Church

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