First Congregational Church


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1981

First Congregational Church
2 West Olive Avenue

The present structure of the First Congregational Church is the third in the church’s history. It first met in the old Lugonia School building and then built a sanctuary at the corner of The Terrace and Church Street. At that time it was—called the Second Congregational Church. When it was decided that the building was too small, $16,000 was raised in the spring of 1899 to build the present structure at Cajon Street and Olive Avenue, known as the “Lord’s Corner.”

William H. Hebbard of the San Diego firm of Hebbard and Gill was architect. He had previously designed an almost identical First Congregational Church in San Diego. Schaniel Bros. of San Diego did the carpentry work and A.E. Taylor of Redlands the masonry.

Ground was broken in August of that year, and the new church was dedicated on April I, 1900. Approximately ten years later, the part of the building that is now used as the main sanctuary was finished. The original sanctuary is now called the “Chapel of the Grail.”

The church itself is basically rectangular with irregularities. The exterior is mainly red brick, but grey cut-stone covers the bottom and borders the arched doorways. The roof is primarily a high cross gable, with a flat roof steeple in the southeast corner. This includes a clock tower. The porch entrances are arched and lined with stepped radiating stones. The windows are gothic with leaded glass. The main doors also have square windows of leaded glass.