LCC History

November 10, 1923 - LORDSHIP SUNDAY SCHOOL: The services of the Lordship Sunday school will be held at 3 pm Sunday, November 11 in the schoolhouse on Crown Street. Mr. Allen of the Bridgeport Christian Union will speak on "Only a Step." Special music has been arranged. The boys of the Lordship Scout Troop No. 1 have elected Hale Buffington and Walter Henderson as their patrol leaders. There were eighteen present at their meeting this week. Next Tuesday evening Scoutmaster W. G. Davis plans to have a campfire meeting on the beach at which several boys will be sworn in as tenderfoots. All men and boys are invited to meet at the school-grounds Saturday afternoon prepared to continue the work of improving the grounds and laying out a baseball diamond.

July 7, 1924 - BURRITT OFFERS LORDSHIP SITE FOR UNION CHURCH: Proposes to Provide Hundred Foot Frontage on Stratford Road: Scoutmaster W. G. Davis sounded the bugle calls at the patriotic observance of Independence Day, when flag-raising exercises took place by the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Lordship at 8 o'clock in the morning. Reveille was first called and during the raising of the flag Mr. Davis sounded 'To the Colors, after which both troops pledged allegiance to the flag. The Girl Scouts recited their Scout promise, to which the Boy Scouts resumed with the Scout oath. Singing of the Star Spangled Banner concluded the exercises. A ball game is scheduled to be played on the local diamond by the Lordship Scout troop No. 1 and the Stratford Scout troop No. 2, Tuesday evening at 7 o'clock. There will be another meeting of the Lordship Manor Improvement Association at Fire hall, Wednesday evening at 8:30 o'clock. Chief Nichols, of the Stratford Police department will be present. A full report on proposed restrictions will be presented at this time. The Sunday school picnic was held as planned with games, field events, ice cream and lemonade for all, followed by a sing and bon-fire on the beach in the evening. It was announced at this time by A. F. Harlow superintendent that A. W. Burritt had offered to provide the site for the Community Church toward which a building fund has already been started. Its location is on Stratford road, directly opposite the home of Seth Calhoun. It has 100 foot frontage, with a depth of 140 feet. As Lordship develops, this location is becoming the central point, it being situated one mile from the Light point, and one mile from the extreme southwest point of the community. The details of the transfer will be arranged by Mr. Burritt and a committee consisting of Mr. Harlow, Mr. Ottoway, Mr. Kuehne, Mr. Mudgett and Mr. Davis.

July 15, 1924 - LORDSHlP SCHOOL VOTES THANKS TO DONOR OF CHURCH: At a short business session, included in the morning worship of the Lordship Sunday school, yesterday, a unanimous vote of acceptance and thanks was given Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Burritt for the offer of a church site and a check signed by Mrs. Burritt to be added to the Sunday School building fund, as the first private donation. The property is to be held by the Stratford Trust Company until such time as the local organization is ready to proceed with building. A choice of several lots was offered and the committee selected two at the peak of the knoll directly opposite the home of Seth Calhoun on Stratford road. Mr. Calhoun has been actively interested in the prospective possibilities of using, by remodeling the old barn on the property for a temporary "meeting-house."


November 6, 1925 - PLAN SOCIAL TO WELCOME PASTOR: A social evening is being planned by the Lordship Community church to be held on Friday, Nov. 13, in the Lordship club rooms, for the purpose of getting acquainted with the new pastor, Rev. K. Kingston. A program of music and other entertainment is being prepared by the committee on arrangements, the chairman of which is Mrs. Pryce Bowen. The sermon announced for next Sunday's afternoon service, which will be held as usual in the school house at 8:15, will be one entitled "Bucklers and Kings," a story of divine protection.


New LC Church 1927

March 26, 1927 - SUNDAY SCHOOL TO BE GIVEN PRIZE ON ATTENDANCE TODAY:Fairchild Cup Will Be Presented to Lordship Community Organization: Tomorrow afternoon, at 3:30 o'clock, at the Casino, the Lordship Community Sunday School will hold what is expected to be its most notable service. The Fairchild Cup which was presented to the Sunday schools of Stratford by Fairchild and Sons of Bridgeport, to be awarded annually to the Sunday School making the largest percentage growth enrollment and average attendance, will be formally presented to the Lordship Sunday School who recently won the coveted trophy for the first time. This cup becomes the property of the Sunday school holding it for three successive years. The Rev. Cyrus Severance, pastor of the Stratford Methodist Episcopal Church and president of the Stratford Federation of Churches will make the presentation. Among the speakers at the ceremony will be Elliott Peck, president of the Stratford Trust Company, and Dr. Milo Hurt one of the organizers of the Lordship Sunday school and its first superintendent who will have something to say on the early history of the School. Vocal solos will be rendered by Miss Mary White of Christ Church Stratford and Bruce Young, well known in the Bridgeport musical world. Practically all of the Churches of Stratford will be represented at this service. The attendance contest which ran for three months was keenly contested and it was not until last Sunday that the Lordship Sunday School assumed the lead. Details are now being prepared for the next contest which will continue until the end of December of this year. A work-meeting at the Women's Auxiliary of the Lordship Sunday school was held Wednesday evening at the home of Mrs. Curt Seydewitz of Poplar Street. Plans were discussed for the supper which will be held during April. At the Council meeting of the Lordship Sunday school held on Tuesday evening last, at the home of Mrs. Leon Botsford, Prospect Drive, it was decided to hold the Sunday School Easter program at the Lordship Club rooms in the Casino on Easter Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock. A committee consisting of Mrs. Pryce Bowen, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Middleton and Mrs. James Pronovost will arrange for the minstrel show and entertainment to take place in May. All the roads in the Lordship area are being put into condition under the supervision of the Town Manager of Stratford, who is actively co-operating with the Lordship Improvement Association in carrying out road repairing in readiness for the summer. Road machinery and rollers are steadily at work and are doing excellent work. The recent spring weather has brought many of the wild binds back to Lordship, including robins, red-winged black-birds and bluebirds. School children can be seen every day scouring the country-side in search of these pests and destroying the eggs. Special attention is being given to the bathing beach in order to have the bathing area in as a good a shape as possible by the time the season opens. The usual floats and diving platform are being overhauled while the life-guard patrol will again supervise the beach. Owing to the damage done by the promiscuous parking of automobiles last summer on private lawns and gardens the residents have petitioned the Stratford Council to provide a policeman this season to regulate the traffic at the beach and supervise the parking of cars that visit the district. "A Night in Chinatown" will be the feature of the fortnightly entertainment staged tomorrow night by the Lordship Club in the Casino. Albert Near who is in charge of the arrangements has promised something particularly interesting, and a large number of Bridgeport guests are expected. The fleet of boats operated by the Lordship adherents of Isaac Walton are being placed in commission in readiness for the summer. Lordship is famed for the excellence of its fishing, and no one who has tried his luck with hook and line has ever been known to go away disappointed. The home being built for George Guckert on South Main Street is nearing completion. The site is on one of the first clearings ever made in this locality after the arrival of the pioneer white men who settled here.


July 14, 1927 - WORK TO BEGIN ON NEW COMMUNITY SUNDAY SCHOOL: Building Committee to Raze Structure Now Standing on Site: Work on the new Community Sunday school and community center of Lordship Manor is to be started this week by the contractors Calhoun and Larsen. The plot on which the building is to be located is the geographical center of Lordship as well as the highest point In Lordship and commands a view of the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound. The Sunday school building will occupy the southern part of the property leaving loom on the north for the community church which will be erected in the future. The men and boys of Lordship under the direction of the building committee consisting of T.H. Middleton, Malcolm Ottaway and W.G. Davis and supervised by the contractors, will demolish the building now standing on the property. The sale of aprons, fancy goods, home made candy and baked goods held by the Women's auxiliary of the Lordship Community Sunday school will be the big event of the community this week. It is to be held tomorrow evening at the Lordship club rooms commencing at 7 o'clock. Music for the dancing following the sale will be furnished by the local orchestra. The entire proceeds of the sale are to go towards the building fund of the Sunday school. Sunday evening July 21 at 8 o'clock a union service of all the churches of the Stratford Federation of Churches will be held at the Lordship club. The committee in charge of this service is arranging for a very interesting musical treat. The children of Lordship are looking forward to the annual Sunday school basket picnic which is to be held Saturday July 23, Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock the Tuscaroras Boys' club of Lordship under the supervision of Councilor W.G. Davis will leave for an overnight hike to Far Mill River. They will return late Sunday evening, July 17. On Friday evening all those boys going on this hike will meet at the Lordship club at 7:15 o'clock for inspection of their equipment and instructions.

October 29, 1927: NEW LORDSHIP CHURCH SCHOOL BUILDING WHICH WILL BE FORMALLY OPENED AND DEDICATED AT SERVICES TOMORROW AFTERNOON: The Lordship Church School in Lordship Manor will formally open with dedication of the new building tomorrow. This school is one of the few non-denominational Sunday schools in this country. It was started six years ago with 12 members through the efforts of Milo Burt. Since that time it has met in the Lordship School house. The class now numbers 70 children and has erected a church school building on property given to it several years ago by Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Burritt. The work of this church school is being watched with interest throughout this section of the country, as it is the first Sunday school bringing together nine different creeds under non-denominational supervision. A year ago, in competition with the other Sunday schools of Stratford, the Lordship Church School gained possession of the Fairchild Cup, which is given each year for the school having the highest average attendance and increase in enrollment. The building will be used during the week by the Womens Auxiliary, Tuscarora, the Campfire Girls, etc. The officers of the Lordship Church School are: W.G. Davis, superintendent; Mrs. A.R. Kuehne, kindergarten supervisor and financial secretary; Mrs. Leon Botsford, primary supervisor; Thomas Middleton, Jr., assistant supervisor; Joseph Larsen, treasurer; Mrs. T. Middleton, secretary; teachers: Mrs. Pryce Bowen, Miss Marjorie Near, Mrs. J.J. Johnson, Miss Gladys Johnson and H. Halsworth. The service Sunday, which will start at 3:15 oclock, will be conducted by the superintendent with the assistance of Reverend Cyrus Severance, pastor of the Stratford M. E. Church, Reverend Stanley Sellick, pastor of the Stratford Congregational Church and Milo Burt. Solos will be rendered by Miss Mary White and Miss Ruth Calhoun. Music will be furnished by the church school orchestra consisting of Mrs. Malcom Ottaway, Miss Beulah Morgan, Miss Irene Bowen, Thomas Middleton, Sr., A.R. Kuehne, John Bateman, Kenyon Ottaway and Thomas Middleton, Jr. Invitations have been sent to the pastors of all denominations in Bridgeport and vicinity, a number of whom are expected to attend.

October 1, 1930 - LORDSHIP CHURCH JOINS WITH BRIDGEPORT PARISH: The Lordship Community Church which has been established in the Lordship Manor district of Stratford for the past three years has affiliated with the First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport, but will retain its original name and status. Through the offices of the Reverend Alexander Alison Jr., the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of State Street and Myrtle Avenue of Bridgeport, the Lordship Community Church has been served during the past year by members of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, William Bordeaux being the curate during the recent summer months. The Rev. Alexander Alison Jr., will conduct the first communion to be held in the Lordship church on Sunday October 4, during the afternoon service. A children's rally will take place in the morning and it expected that Mr. Bordeaux will take the service prior to his departure for Philadelphia. In his absence students from Philadelphia Seminary will fill the pulpit each Sunday.


October 1935: LORDSHIP LIBRARY REPORTS ON WORK: The Lordship Branch Library, under the supervision of Mrs. Harry Lyon, chairman of the Library committee, has issued the following report which reveals the progress obtained: The library was opened on October 18, 1932 under the joint sponsorship of the Lordship P.T.A. and the Stratford Public Library. It is located in the Lordship Community Church and is open from 3 to 5 each Tuesday afternoon. It opened with a total of 270 books, of which 100 were donated by the Stratford Library and 170 collected from Lordship residents. Today it has 675 books. The membership on opening day was 38. This has increased numerically to 140 cards. Circulation averages from 45 to 60 books and periodicals weekly.

August 28, 1936 - CHURCH BUILT IN LORDSHIP 8 YEARS AGO: Community Church Group, Organized in 1922, Erects Building on Lots Donated By Burritts,Sunday School and Worship Services Held Each Week: How many residents of Stratford know that in their town there is something of interest that is rare in this part of the country, namely a Community Church? Perhaps there are some who do not know that in this church several Protestant denominations are working together in harmony with the high purpose of helpful service to friend and neighbor. In the summer of 1922 about a dozen parents and friends of children living in the more or less isolated region called Lordship, felt the strong need of religious instruction for the boys and girls. These people who were residing in what is known as the Triangle met and talked over plans with the result that on July 23, 1922 at eleven o'clock in the morning fifty people gathered together in the school house for the opening service of the Sunday School. For five years the work was carried on in the school for the most part, a few services being held in the Casino. During that time we received a wonderful gift of three lots from Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Burritt. Feeling the need of more room and proper facilities for church services, the bravest of the group began to speak of building on the ground which had been given for that purpose. It was an ambitious undertaking and required courage just to think of it. But there were many who felt the need was real and worthy of support, some of whom were not residing in Lordship. Because of their help and the hard work of the few attending each Sunday service, the present building was built. Owing to the lack of information obtainable on the subject, a real difficulty arose when the time came to incorporate as a Community Church, but the deed was accomplished and the building was dedicated as a House of God in October 1927. There have been very few Sundays since that time on which Sunday school and Church sessions have not been held. In the early beginning a Women's Auxiliary was formed for Home and Foreign missions. It is interesting to note just here that this church each year sends money to Mr. Newton Kapp to be used in his missionary work at Nigeria, Kano, East Africa. He was a former pastor here while finishing his education at Westminster Seminary. There are also Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops which are sponsored by the church. A cordial welcome awaits him who visits this little Community Church.

September 22, 1939 - LORDSHIP COMMUNITY CHURCH DEBT FREE: Organized In 1923 As Sunday School Weekly Services Are Now Held In Own Building: The Lordship Community Church was first organized as a Sunday school in 1923 by Dr. Milo Burt of Stratford who acted the leader for the first couple of years. Sunday school lessons were first held upstairs in what was then known as the Casino now Malafronte building in Lordship Center. After sometime permission was given to use the old school house and Sunday school sessions were held there with occasional church services. A building fund was started as the membership in the church grew and a plot of ground was donated by Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Burritt and in 1926 it was decided to build a structure that could be used for both Sunday school and church services. Subscriptions were taken up and many came in so that the building was started early in 1927. In October 1927 the building was completed and dedicated as a building for Sunday school services. In 1930 it was decided to try and hold regular church services on Sunday at 11 am and to secure a minister to officiate. The first minister was the Reverend W. H. Bordeaux who served for one year. Since that time church services have been held every Sunday morning at 11 and Sunday school at 10 am and many different student ministers from various schools came to serve as acting ministers.The church is strictly non-denominational and is not affiliated with any other church. The present minister is Reverend Leslie Wood of Bridgeport, a graduate of Yale Divinity School. Connected with the church is a ladies auxiliary, a choir of young folks, mostly high school students, a troop of boy scouts and a mens club which meets twice each month. Thanks to the many friends the church is free of debt. Joseph Larsen.

June 26, 1942 - LORDSHIP MINISTER TO LEAVE: Reverend Luther Harshbarger Resigns To Accept Call From Pennsylvania Church: Expressions of regret are being uttered not only from the congregation but from the many friends made by the Rev. Luther Harshbarger, who offered his resignation to the people of the Lordship Community Church at the services last Sunday. The resignation was accepted but not until the congregation was assured that their minister had received and accepted a call from the Church of The Brethren in Ambler, Pennsylvania located about 17 miles north of Philadelphia. The Rev. Harshbarger will preach his farewell sermon at the church on Sunday July 12 and a good attendance is looked for to hear it. The pastor came to this church in the fall of 1940 and has done much to build up the congregation. Many innovations were installed during his occupancy of the pulpit and the church itself has grown noticeably. He is a native of Pennsylvania and studied at McPherson College, Kansas and at Bethany Seminary, Chicago. He was graduated from Yale School of Divinity with a degree of Bachelor of Divinity this June. Prior to his taking charge of the Lordship church, he was pastor of the Salem Community Church at Nickerson, Kansas and was advisor to the Young Peoples cabinet of that state. At the time, both Mr. and Mrs. Harshbarger were directors of the Amity House Association at Woodbridge where settlement work is carried on for the Italian-American residents of that community.

July 18, 1947: LORDSHIP CHURCH TRANSPLANTS TREES ANTICIPATING BUILDING: In order to lose none of the thriving trees on the new lots of the Lordship Community Church when the building expansion program of the congregation is put under way, male members assembled at the church property last Friday and participated in a transplanting bee. A result is that the ground is cleared and expansion without harm to trees can be undertaken when everything is ready. Members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the church also were present to tell the men what to do and how to do it, to serve refreshments and to support the morale of the workers in general. The second softball game of a series between the adults and children of the church is to be played at 6:30 on Tuesday evening on the diamond on Lordship Bluffs. The first game had to go through an extra inning to determine the winning team which was the one made up of the elder members. Members of the church school will enjoy a picnic on Monday with the Married Couples Club as sponsor. The children will meet at the church at 9:30 Monday morning, bringing lunches with them; the Married Couples Club will supply beverages and desserts. The Reverend Dale Beittel, pastor, says that the only flaw in sight is lack of sufficient transportation facilities; he is seeking additional cars with drivers so that no child may be deprived of the pleasure of the picnic.

August 8, 1947: CHURCH WILL GRADE LOTS TO MAKE NEW PLAYGROUND: Lots which were purchased during the spring by the Lordship Community Church in its enlargement program have been cleared of underbrush and other debris by groups of men in the congregation who have been working on this project each Friday night; moreover all trees which are desired for landscaping in the future have been preserved by transplanting. The congregation has arranged for a bulldozer to level the ground. Additional work will be undertaken so that it may be available for playground use next spring. The plan is that it shall continue to be used for outdoor recreation until the church has completed its building program and can begin such work. Members of the church Planning Committee will meet in the church basement next Tuesday evening with the Reverend Dale Beittel to draft a tentative enlargement program to be presented to the congregation within the next month or so.


Reverend Wood


Reverend Harshbarger


Reverend Thomson


Reverend Pribble


Reverend Meier

February 27, 1948: LORDSHIP CHURCH WILL PUBLISH ITS HISTORY: The 20 year history of the Lordship Community Church and the history of its Sunday School which antedates the church by five years will be published this spring in booklet form by the church as a fund raising project toward the church building fund, the Rev. Dale Beittel pastor announced this week. The manuscript of the history, written and compiled by Mrs. Walter Henderson of the Church Spiritual Life committee is complete and is being corrected and prepared for publication, Mr. Beittel said. The 25 page work was compiled by Mrs. Henderson from church records and reports, clippings and information gathered from older Lordship residents and members of her committee. Cliff Hutchison, chairman of the church building program and Spiritual Life committee will underwrite the entire cost of publishing the history Mr. Beittel said in order to make it possible for the entire proceeds from its sale to be turned over to the building fund. The history will outline the building of the church structure 20 years ago with their own hands by original members who felt the need of a church for the community but were unable to finance its building in the usual manner. It will include plans of the new structure, scheduled to be started this summer which will be built by members themselves in a community building bee. Also told will be the history of the Sunday school.

April 16, 1948: COMMUNITY CHURCH INCREASES ITS MEMBERSHIP BY 44 PERCENT: A membership of 133 persons for the Lordship Community Church, an increase of 44 percent for the Church fiscal year is reported by the Rev. Dale Beittel, pastor. The increase is expected to be raised to 50 percent by May, the end of the Church year, Mr. Beittel said. The Church launched a membership program in May 1947 with the goal of doubling its membership.

May 7, 1948: LORDSHIP COMMUNITY CHURCH WILL BE CONGREGATIONAL; CHANGES GOVERNMENT: Ministers and lay delegates of the churches of the Fairfield Association of Congregational Christian Churches will meet in ecclesiastical council Sunday at 5 pm in the Lordship Community Church to consider the application of the local church to be admitted into the fellowship of the association and vote formally on it. Acceptance of the church was recommended following a recent meeting of a committee of the association with the executive board of the church. The Ladies Auxiliary of the church, under the direction of Mrs. Fred Wanderscheck and Mrs. Grace Leach will prepare and serve the group at a supper in the church following the business session. A Service of Recognition will take place at 7:30 pm should the vote of the delegates be favorable as is anticipated. Speaker will be the Rev. James English, superintendent of the Connecticut Conference of Congregational Churches. The Rev. Stanley Sellick, moderator of the conference and minister of the First Congregational Church here, will be the officiating minister at a Service of Holy Communion, assisted by Frank Johnson, general chairman and Charles Hubbard, senior deacon of the Lordship Church. Participating in the ceremonies will be ministers of other Congregational churches in the area, including Rev. Leon Dean, Rev. David Hatch, Rev. Clarence Dunham, Rev. Dr. Howard Anderson, Rev. Dr. Herbert Brown and Rev. Dale Beittel, minister of the Lordship Church. A special program of music will be rendered for the service under the direction of Mrs. Barbara Beittel, minister of music. Members and friends of the church are invited to attend the service. The Lordship Community Church officially initiated the offices of Deaconesses and Deacons for the first time in its history at the annual meeting of the congregation Tuesday in the church. The offices were created because the church was grown to the extent that consecrated lay leadership is a necessity, the Rev. Dale Beittel, minister said. Named to be first to hold these offices were Mrs. Leon Botsford, Mrs. Kenyon Ottaway, Charles Hubbard and Vincent Ketcham. The office of Historian was also set up by the church that the records of the church may be kept in a satisfactory manner for future reference. Mrs. Vincent Ketcham, first historian, will continue the work of a special committee appointed last year which wrote a history of the church to present date. The Rev. Beittel, Mrs. Barbara Beittel, minister of music and Mrs. John Herman, church caretaker, salaried workers of the church, were continued in their present offices. Other officers elected were: Frank Johnson, general chairman; Mrs. Fred Beibel, clerk; Mrs. Frank Johnson, financial secretary; Mrs. Cora Van Yorx, treasurer; Dr. Luther Strayer, Sunday school superintendent; and Joseph Bradbury, assistant. Trustees named were: Mrs. A. Burritt (honorary) Ed Olsen, Charles Hubbard, Kenyon Ottaway and Erwin Botsford. Committees named were: Spiritual Life; Cliff Hutchison, Mrs. Clayton Lathrop, Mrs. Walt Henderson, William Nothnagle and Mrs. Lucille Peasley, Religious Education: Don Smith, Mrs. Art Henderson, Fred Wanderscheck, Mrs. Joseph Bradbury and Frank Brown. Social Action and Benevolence: Mrs. Norm Leach, Mrs. Ida Niederhauser, Mrs. Marion Hutchison, Mrs. Anne Middleton, Mrs. Alice Olson and Mrs. Wanderscheck. Finance: Jim McMellon, Mrs. Ray Palmer Sr., Mrs. Olive Noel, Art Henderson and Mrs. Russ Sherman. A formal service of installation will take place at the Sunday morning worship services of the church.

April 22, 1949: PASTOR LEAVES LORDSHIP, NEW LEADER NAMED: Announcement was made Easter Sunday of the resignation of Reverend Dale Beittel as pastor of the Lordship Community Church. At the same time, the council of the church announced that the new pastor would be Reverend Buckner Coe of Zaneswill, Ohio. He will take over the pulpit on July 6. Beittel has been a student at Yale Divinity School while holding the Lordship pastorate. He has been pastor since October 1945. During Rev. Beittels pastorate the church has grown substantially in membership. Recently the members voted to affiliate with the Congregational Church. Plans are underway for the erection in Lordship of a church to be moved here from Brookfield, Vermont. A small community which formerly used two Congregational churches, the Brookfield congregation has agreed to give the church to Lordship. The local church will pay the moving costs.

July 15, 1949: LORDSHIP CHURCH O-KAYED BY STATE: Will Create Define Flying Hazard But State Officials Agree Building Is Legal: The heated controversy on the proposed construction of the new Lordship Community Church near the end of a runway of the Bridgeport Municipal airport came to an end this week with an announcement by Kenneth Ringrose, director of the State Department of Aeronautics that the construction is not in conflict with the state zoning regulations for areas adjacent to airports. Mr. Ringrose in a letter to Bruce Schow, building inspector, Tuesday, said he had sent a complete finding in the matter to Thomas Coughlin, counsel for the church building committee. Mr. Schow who had previously communicated with the State Aeronautics authorities when the Community Church applied for a building permit, received no immediate answer. He issued the permit last week and ground for the building which is coming from Vermont, was broken Monday. Commenting on the action of the department, Mr. Ringrose said, We regret that under present conditions we are unable to intercede or to prevent the construction of the building. The finding of the department as sent to Mr. Coughlin says, In accordance with your request, we have carefully reviewed the situation as it relates to the proposed construction of a church on Stratford Road, Stratford. It is our finding that the construction of this church is not in conflict with the zoning regulations of the area adjacent to the Bridgeport Municipal airport, dated April 17, 1939. We desire however to be placed on record as believing that the construction of a church at the location in question will create a hazardous condition and will to a certain extent reduce the effective length of the northwest-southwest runway at the Bridgeport airport. On the basis of a 40:1 glide, the effective length will be reduced by 2,600 feet; at a 30:1 glide to 1,700 feet. The church contends that it has owned the land in question since 1923 and that because this was prior to the establishment of the airport, the City of Bridgeport should pay damages if the congregation is forced to construct its edifice elsewhere. The church owns another piece of land on Prospect Drive and would have been willing to construct the new church there had the City of Bridgeport offered the congregation remuneration for it. The City of Bridgeport has held that the church group did in fact purchase the land in 1945 on which to locate the church and that the action of damages now sought is merely for financial gain. The church has denied that contention. Something may be solved however, with a conference called for tomorrow between members of the City of Bridgeports airport commission, assistant City Attorney John Donnelly and representatives of the church. Bridgeport City Clerk Fred Schwarzkopf reprimanded the church yesterday afternoon for allowing its building committee to ask the City of Bridgeport for upwards of $20,000 to locate the church elsewhere. He said the city is agreeable to relocating the present church building to a new site at an estimated cost of $2,500. However Mr. Schwarzkopf added that the church group not only wanted the structure moved but a foundation constructed on the new site, the building installed and requested the city to purchase the present lots which would be of no use to the airport. Mr. Schwarzkopf estimated that the total of these demands would run between $10,000 and $20,000 and noted that the church officials are ignoring not only the safety of fliers but also of their own congregation. The construction of the church Mr. Schwarzkopf said would constitute a much worse hazard to the airport than would the erections of an outdoor theater recently rejected by State Police Commissioner Edward Hickey.


The inspiring story of the church of the church that would not die and of the people who are giving it new life ends happily in Lordship on Sunday afternoon with the dedication of 105 year of Lordship Community Church the church which less than a year ago stood in the town of Brookfield Center, Vermont. The inspiring story is well known to most. It covers one hundred and five years and 250 miles and it goes back into the hearts of men. A Congregational church was built in Brookfield in 1845. It was of hand-hewn timbers, notched and fitted together with oak pins. The horizontal timbers were 46 feet long, the entire length of the church. Five hand-hewn posts supported the roof on each side. The walls had three thicknesses; one of untrimmed slab planking laid lengthwise, another layer of planking laid vertically and a top layer of siding. The pews were of native chestnut. The steeple was 80 feet high. Its one ton bell of fine tone had been cast by G. H. Holbrook of East Medway, Mass. The church seated 180 persons. Some years afterwards the little town of Brookfield Center began to bustle with industry and nearby water power turned the wheels at a sawmill, a rake factory and a cheese factory and the population grew. There was then need for a new church to accommodate those who came to worship on a Sunday morning. A new church was built about a mile form the one which had been erected in 1845 and for a while, Sunday mornings found them both overflowing. Then some twenty years ago, Brookfield turned from industry back to agriculture, the population diminished and two churches were no longer needed. The old church was used for nothing other than a yearly memorial service and the only reason it was not torn down was that the church could not be torn down as long as it was still used for at least a yearly service. The Brookfield congregation fulfilled the condition of the lease, perhaps at times not knowing why. Only knowing that the church should not die. Down in Lordship which was a distant wilderness in 1845, a need was felt in 1922 by the Protestants of that section for a house of worship of their own. They met in homes and in the Casino and in 1927 they decided to build a church of their own. But the funds of the group were limited and they decided to keep the church in house-form so that if the congregation found itself unable to maintain a church, the edifice could be sold as a dwelling and if the venture proved successful and a real church would one day become feasible, it could be used as a parsonage.

April 1, 1950 - COLONIAL CHURCH TO BE OPENED IN LORDSHIP ON EASTER SUNDAY: Weather permitting the first service in the 105 year old church building which was moved from Brookfield Center, Vermont to Lordship will take place Easter Sunday morning at 11 a.m., the Rev. Buckner Coe, pastor of the Lordship Community Church has announced. It was emphasized that the interior of the remodeled structure is still in a rough condition and will not be completed for several months but we feel that it will be most appropriate to have the first service in the ancient building on Easter Sunday, the Rev. Coe said. During the early part of the week, the pews will be set up and the nave and chancel arranged for the service. The heating system will be turned on late in the week to have the interior completely dry, Mr. Coe said and final decision on whether or not the service will take place in the building will be delayed until Easter Sunday morning. In the event of cold weather the services will be conducted in the present church building. The colonial bell in the church tower will be sounded at 9, 10 and 10:30 a.m. if the services are to take place in the new building, Mr. Coe said. A special medical program has been arranged by the choir under the direction of Marion Hutchinson and will include the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah. Mr. Coe will preach of The Living Christ.

June 5, 1950 - LORDSHIP CHURCH IS REDEDICATED: Rededication ceremonies for the Colonial Center Church transported from its original site in Brookfield Center, Vermont and reassembled at its new place at the junction of Crown Street and Prospect Drive in Lordship took place yesterday afternoon during a special service conducted by the Reverend Dale Beittel, former pastor of the Lordship Community Church. Clifford Hutchinson, general chairman of the building program turned over the keys of the church to Kenyon Ottaway, general chairman of the church board who in turn presented them to the Reverend Buckner Coe, pastor of the old-new church. A dedicatory sermon was delivered by Dr. Howard Anderson, pastor of the United Church of Bridgeport and a Scripture lesson was read by the Rev. F. Stanley Sellick, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stratford. The rededication ceremonies followed a cornerstone ceremony Saturday and a formal worship service earlier yesterday which was the first in the church since it was dismantled for removal to Lordship. The church replaces a one-story frame building which has served for 23 years as the place of worship of the Lordship Community Church. The church began as a non denomination Sunday school in 1922. It was incorporated as the Lordship Community Church in 1934.


Vermont Church


New church


Vermont Church






New LCC home


LCC in Brookfield


LCC move


LC Church 1954


LCC Cornerstone


LCC 1949

The Lordship Community Church versus the Airport

July 10, 1949 - LORDSHIP TO BEGIN WORK ON CHURCH ON DISPUTED SITE NEAR AIRPORT: Lordship, Stratford's Tenth district, where 25 years ago the property owners talked of seceding from Stratford and becoming a section of Bridgeport because they didn't think they were getting a fair return on their tax dollar is about to become embroiled in legal action with the City of Bridgeport over the proper location of a church. The controversy centers around the vote of the congregation of the Lordship Community Church to construct a new church edifice on ground owned by the organization on Stratford Road, directly on the southeast end of a runway of the Bridgeport Municipal Airport. The church contends that it has owned the land since 1923 and that because this was prior to the establishment of the airport the City of Bridgeport should pay damages if the congregation is forced to construct its proposed building elsewhere. The City of Bridgeport holds that the church group did in fact purchase other land in 1945 on which to locate the church and that the action of damages sought now is merely for financial gain. This the church organization has denied. Ground for the church foundation is scheduled to be broken Monday morning at 8 o'lock by Healing and Wardman, general contractors and power shovels and other equipment were moved onto the site Saturday afternoon in preparation for the task and digging the basement and completing the basement walls prior to July 15 when the first sections of the church are to be moved here from Brookfield, Vermont. Clifford Hutchinson, chairman of the church building committee said yesterday that work will be continued on construction on this site until the building is either completed and ready for occupancy or work is stopped by some legal action on the part of the airport authorities. Meeting Friday night in the old church building which is to be a part of the new structure when the construction is completed, the congregation by an overwhelming majority gave the building committee a vote of confidence and reaffirmed their desire to have the Colonial structure on the Stratford Road site. Mr. Hutchinson says that the committee and the congregation is in agreement that the site is not now as ideal as it was in 1923 when it first was presented to them for church purposes, but that it is felt that if another site must be used the City of Bridgeport should foot the bill of the change of plans. After more than three months of negotiations the permit for a foundation has been issued by Bruce Schow, Stratford building inspector who said that he had written to State aeronautical officials but had received no protest. He said that he has not received a protest for the City of Bridgeport and that insofar as he is concerned the church building can be constructed on the Stratford Road property. In the opinion of Mr. Hutchinson and his committee the legal questions to be answered include whether of not the airport has the legal right to expand without local control and whether or not the airport has the legal right to cast a shadow of depreciation and limit the use on private property beyond the airfield boundaries without due compensation to the owner particularly when the ownership extends many years prior to the establishment of the airport. It was pointed out by the church committee that the decision when it is finally reached will have far reaching effects on the rights of owners of property in Lordship and the south end of Stratford inasmuch as despite the years of ownership they will find themselves limited in the size of buildings which can be erected if the land is within certain areas of airport runways. On the question of airport hazards says Mr. Hutchinson. The question of existing hazards between the City of Bridgeport and the Lordship Community Church was two diametric points for consideration. From the airport viewpoint it is definitely known beyond all question of doubt that an 80 foot high structure at the end of a runway and built on land that is already about 30 feet above the runway grade would be a hazard that would seriously affect the use of the runway. With a required glide ration of at least 20-1 in the approaches any structure over 10 feet high on the land in question would be within the hazard zone. From the viewpoint of the church the added height of a steeple would be a safety factor for the church and for surrounding homes within the approach zone. The knowledge that there was such a structure at that location would cause low flying aircraft to fly a little higher and it would discourage the use of this particular runway by large commercial aircraft. If the possibility still remains that because of either a mechanical failure or an error in judgment in either landing or taking off from the airport, lives of people within the church area would be endangered, then that particular approach should never be used. If the church is endangered then the homes of families within the airport area are also endangered. In a letter to John Donnelly, City Attorney for Bridgeport on June 28, Mr. Hutchinson said in part "The first three lots of the present sites were given to the church in July 1923. They were selected as being the most suitable location in Lordship for a church with a combination of favorable factors such as centrally located, easily accessible and on the highest point. In 1927 the present church building was erected. By 1941 the Lordship Community Church had grown to such an extent that additional facilities were needed. In April 1941 the three adjoining lots were acquired and a building fund established." Now after months of deliberation and discussion we believe that it is up to us to take some positive action to clarify our status in relation to the airport. We have valuable property rights which have been jeopardized by a lack of interest on the part of various airport authorities during the past six years even though we ourselves have taken measures to protect the much greater investment in the airport. We feel that it would be unreasonable for the City of Bridgeport to expect the Lordship Community Church at the expense of the church wholly for the advantage and convenience of the airport. Therefore we have proposed that the present airport authorities give immediate consideration to the following proposals, either one of which is acceptable to us. 1) The present Lordship Community Church be moved at no expense to ourselves to a lot now owned by the church at the intersection of Prospect Drive and Crown Street. Included in the moving would be the reestablishment of the building on a foundation equal to its present one and basement facilities including plumbing, heating, service connections and finishing equal to present one. This is estimated to cost about $10,000. The six lots owned by the church between Stratford Road and Laurel Street be added to the Bridgeport airway property at a fair appraised value. 2) A fair value to be established for the present church building and property with no discount made for depreciation caused by the extension of the airport runway in 1943(our estimated value $20,000). The entire property to be disposed of for residential purposes within a reasonable length of time. The difference between the agreed value and the sale realization to be the sum due the Lordship Community Church as a damage claim against the airport. Mr. Hutchinson says that he has received no answer to this communication. Work must be started by Monday the chairman of the building committee said. Inasmuch as a contract with the Consolidated Building Wrecking Company of Bridgeport calls for dismantling of the church in Brookfield, Vermont and its removal to Lordship to be started on or about July 15. The foundation for the church is under the contract to be ready about July 11. We have lost too much time already. Mr. Hutchinson said and in view of the vote of the congregation on Friday night it is our plan to proceed at once. The church purchased for removal to Lordship is one constructed in 1845 in the Brookfield, Vermont community. Its dimensions are 46 feet wide, 62 feet long, approximately 35 feet to the high ridge and a steeple of 80 feet. The present church structure Mr. Hutchinson said will be attached to the southeast corner of the new building.

July 14, 1949 - PARLEY IS CALLED IN CHURCH DISPUTE: Representatives of Airport Commission, Lordship Group to Confer Tomorrow: A conference has been scheduled for tomorrow between members of the city Airport commission, Assistant City Attorney John Donnelly and representatives of the Lordship Community Church, Stratford Road, which has begun construction of a new building near the end of a runway of the Bridgeport Municipal Airport. The commission has been opposed to the erection of the church contending it would create a hazard to flying. The church has maintained that it has owned the land since 1923 and that because this was prior to the establishment of the airport, Bridgeport should pay damages if the congregation is forced to construct its edifice elsewhere. The commission has held that the church group did in fact purchase other land in 1945 on which to locate the church and that the action of damages now sought is merely for financial gain, a contention which the church has denied. City Clerk Fred Schwarzkopf today assailed the church building committee in asking the city for upwards of $20,000 to locate the new building elsewhere. He said the city is agreeable to relocating the present church building to a new site at an estimated cost of $2,500. However he said the church group not only wanted the structure moved but a foundation constructed on the new site, the building installed and requested the city purchase the present lots which would be of no use to the airport. The total of these demands according to Mr. Schwarzkopf would amount to between $10,000 and $20,000. He said church officials are ignoring not only the safety of fliers but also of their own congregation. Mr. Schwarzkopf said the construction of the church will constitute a much more definite hazard to the airport than would the creation of an outdoor theater formerly contemplated but since rejected by State Police Commissioner Edward Hickey.

July 15, 1949 - CHURCH AGREES TO ABANDON NEW PROJECT NEAR AIRPORT: City to Pay Damages of $5,000 Resulting from Change in Building Site: The Lordship Community Church was agreed to abandon construction of a new 80 foot edifice on Stratford Road bear a runway at the Bridgeport Municipal Airport in Stratford. City Clerk Fred Schwarzkopf announced yesterday. Church officials indicated they will build a new structure at Prospect Drive and Crown Street, Lordship instead. The City of Bridgeport will pay them $5,000 for damages resulting from the site change. Mr. Schwarzkopf disclosed provided the City's part in the agreement is approved by the Airport Commission. These decisions were reached yesterday during a conference at which the Church representatives promised to place a restriction on the property near the runway so that in the event it is sold, no building will be erected on it higher than the present 27 foot one. The Church now is located at the southeastern end of a runway at the airport. The congregation contended that it has owned the land since 1923 and that because this was prior to the establishment of the airport, the City of Bridgeport should pay damages if construction of a new building must be made elsewhere. The City of Bridgeport has held that the church group purchased other land in 1945 on which to erect a new edifice and that any damages sought now are merely for financial gain. The church has denied that charge. The new project involves moving a church from Brookfield, Vermont to Lordship and placing it on a foundation for which work was begun earlier this week. The present building on Stratford Road was to have been a part of the new edifice. A permit for the foundation near the runway was issued by Bruce Schow, Stratford building inspector after more than three months of negotiations. He said he had written to State aeronautical officials about the matter and had received no protest from them. Clifford Hutchinson, chairman of the church building committee said last night that the first section of the Vermont building arrived in this area yesterday and will be stored overnight by Healing and Wardman, general contractors. He said excavation work at the Prospect Drive area will start today. Present at the conference were Mr. Schwarzkopf, Mr. Hutchinson, City Attorney Harry Schwartz, Assistant City Attorney John Donnelly, the Rev. Bruckner Coe pastor of the church and Kenyon Ottaway general chairman of the church.

A Brief History of the Lordship Community Church

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December 9, 1952 - PASTOR RESIGNS LORDSHIP PARISH: Rev. H. Buckner Coe Accepts Hamden Church Call Effective March 1. The Rev. H. Buckner Coe, pastor of the Lordship Community Church, Stratford, since June 1949 announced his resignation Sunday to members of the parish. It will become effective March 1 when he assumes the pastorate of the Spring Glen Congregational Church, Hamden where he will replace the Rev. George Riggs who resigned last August. According to the Rev. Coe, the congregation of the Lordship Community Church will appoint a pulpit committee whose function will be to select a new pastor. Son of the Rev. and Mrs. Albert Coe of Massachusetts, the Rev. Coe was graduated in 1945 from Yale University where he majored in English. In December 1947, he was graduated from Yale Divinity School. His first pastorate was in Zanesville, Ohio from January 1948 until June 1949, when he accepted the appointment at the Lordship Church. The Rev. Coe is married to Kathryn Coe. They have two children and will reside in Hamden after assuming the pastorate.

February 1953 - COMMUNITY CHURCH BUYS HOUSE FOR USE AS LORDSHIP PARSONAGE: Purchase of the Edward Olsen house, 143 Margherita Lawn in the Lordship section of Stratford as a parsonage for the Lordship Community Church has been announced by Charles Hubbard, chairman of the parsonage committee. The purchase price was reported at $20,000 and includes 120 foot frontage on Margherita Lawn a modern two story house and garage. It is located one block from the church. The Reverend Robert Meier, pastor and his family are expected to move into the new parsonage about May 1. At present the church rents a house at 225 Ocean Avenue for the pastor. Purchase of the house was approved by the executive committee of the church February 3 and details of the purchase were completed during the past week. A special announcement of the purchase was scheduled to be distributed to the church members at todays services. Two-thirds of the purchase cost will be covered by a mortgage, according to church officials and the balance will be raised through subscriptions from church members and friends. It is expected that the financial details will be completed by May 1. The new parsonage of frame construction has two floors and a basement and is approximately 24 by 61 feet. The first floor has four rooms and a tiled bath. In the living room there is a fireplace, also wall-to-wall carpeting and a stair runner which is to be left in the house when the Olsen family moves. The kitchen is equipped with an automatic washer, electric dishwasher and stainless steel sink. The two car garage attached has full headroom storage space above and is fireproofed. An enclosed side porch is seven feet by 20 feet and there is also a glassed-in, storm proofed vestibule on the front entry. On the second floor there are three bedrooms, bath with shower and lavatory. The entire second floor is covered with inlaid linoleum and finished with gum wood panels. The dining room contains a built-in corner cupboard and also an open cupboard while in the den there is a 12 foot wall of bookcases and cabinets. The basement has a finished ceiling and walls of knotty pine. The floor is tiled and there is a refreshment counter with sink. The new parsonage will be heated with an oil-fired steam system. The House is completely equipped with weatherstrip, storm windows and screens. There is also a completely installed fire alarm system. Assisting Mr. Hubbard in the selection of the parsonage was Kenyon Ottaway, Edward Olsen and Ronald Sammis.


1956 LCC


LCC mortgage


LCC Fair 1970


Co-op 1973


LCC 1973 fair


LCC 1974


LCC dance


LCC quilt show