Connecticut Church Planting

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Christianity came to Connecticut with the European settlers in the early 1600’s. They established Congregational churches across the state. The churches were the social, political and spiritual centers of the communities. But as culture and society changed after World War 2, the dominance of the Congregational Church gave way to the might of the Roman Catholic Church. A majority of Connecticut residents still claim allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, though the priest scandals have severely damaged the church and many Catholics no longer practice their faith on a regular basis.

Evangelicals began migrating to Connecticut in the early 1950’s. From the 50’s to the 80’s a great wave of church planting occurred across the state and many new evangelical churches were started. Southern Baptists, Evangelical Free, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Conservative Baptists, and the Assembly of God were some of the primary leaders of that first wave of evangelical advance.

As often happens, church planting movements come in waves and in the early-2000’s another wave began to ripple across the state. The second wave involved many of the same evangelical groups from the first wave, but this time there were also growing numbers of independent Bible churches and independent Charismatic churches. Then the economic crash hit Connecticut hard and though some of that second wave survived, many did not. That second wave ended almost before it began. We are thankful for the hardy pastors who stuck it out during those challenging years and successfully planted solid evangelical churches.

In 2012 the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention decided to make a major investment in church planting in Connecticut. Church planting strategists, which they called “catalysts” were put in place to help both existing church plants become stable and to help new churches be birthed. In partnership with the Baptist Convention of New England and the Western Connecticut Baptist Association, plans are being put into place to help launch a third wave of gospel seed sowing and church planting across the state.

For more info contact:
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett at


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