Brighton Allston Congregational Church, UCC | 404 Washington St, Brighton MA 02135 | Office: baccoffice@verizon.net | Pastor: brightonucc@verizon.net | 617-254-4046

Our History

The Brighton Allston Congregational Church descends from a fusion of separatist and dissenting Pilgrims, Puritan reformers, and Bay Colony merchant adventurers who left England in the late 17th century, some to escape persecution, and others to forge a more prosperous life in the New World. These immigrants settled in Brighton in 1647, after the Congregational preacher John Eliot ministered with Native American residents in this part of Massachusetts. In 1744 the first Congregational church in Brighton was built on the northeast corner of Market and Washington Streets. In 1783 it was incorporated as the Third Congregational Church.


The Rev. Dr. Foster served as its first pastor for 43 years. Foster Street was named after him. In the early 1800s, the Trinitarian/Unitarian controversy split scores of churches in the Northeast, including this congregation. In 1827, twenty five members declared independence from the Third Congregational Church, taking the name Brighton Evangelical Congregational Church to signify that they were remaining faithful to the Gospel -- the good news -- in professing the Trinity. Through the decades that followed, this congregation has been faithful to its founding covenant: “We covenant to walk in love and Christian fellowship...to aid as we shall have influence and in all things…to seek peace and welfare, so long as in the providence of God we continue as members.”


The  latter half of the 19th century to the early 20th century marked a period of growth for this church. In 1868 a new building was dedicated on this site, but it was destroyed in 1921. Our current sanctuary, which is on the registry of historic landmarks, was designed by Clarence Blackall, who also designed the Colonial, Wilbur and Wang Theatres. Our acoustics have a clarity and life that resound beautifully. Two new churches were birthed from this congregation. The Allston Congregational Church on Quint Avenue was established in 1883 when some Brighton Church members decided to expand due to growth in Allston. The Faneuil Congregational Church on Brooks Street opened in 1917 to accommodate new families in this growing community. 


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By 1954 the neighborhood population had leveled off, and various factors affected neighborhood growth. There were only 16 acres of open space in Brighton, curbing new development. The Massachusetts Turnpike came through the neighborhood in 1960, encouraging suburban flight. Boston University, Boston College and Harvard University expanded into the area.


In the late 1970s the Thrift Shop, Community Supper and Food Pantry were opened because of the congregation’s desire to address growing economic need in the community.


Happily in 2003, the Allston Congregational Church reunited with the Brighton Congregational Church to form the Brighton Allston Congregational Church. This union has strengthened both.


In 2005 we voted to become an Open and Affirming Congregation in the United Church of Christ. This is our Open and Affirming Statement:  “We, the worshipping members of Brighton Allston Congregational Church, UCC, proclaim that every person seeking a spiritual home is worthy of membership in the body of Jesus Christ. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Open and Affirming ministry of this church declares that the amazing grace of God, made manifest through Jesus Christ is a gift meant for people of every race, age, ability and sexual orientation.  All people are welcome at Christ’s table and in the rites of the church. We open our hearts in welcome, and we affirm the dignity and worth of every person as we strive to be a community that Jesus is building, faithful to God and bold in Christ.”



Our denomination, the United Church of Christ (UCC) is a diverse community of Christians who come together as one body to celebrate faith and action. The UCC was formed in 1957, merging congregational and reformed traditions, to weave God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with clear action for justice and peace.


The UCC’s many “firsts” mean that we have inherited a congregational tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith. We were the first historically white denomination to ordain African Americans, the first to ordain women, the first to ordain an openly gay man and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same gender couples to marry. We were on the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the civil rights movement. 


We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together we serve to create a more just and peaceful world.