The Congregational Way
A self-guided tour of the Church and the Angels' Wing Community House; including Chapel and Sanctuary.
The Underground Railroad Tour
As one of the national forerunners in the Anti-slavery movement, the Congregational Church has a rich history in the Underground Railroad nationally. Locally, church records indicate it served as one of the Railroad Stations while located at Fort and Wayne Streets. The lower level of the Church features an Underground Railroad Tour in which visitors have an opportunity to re-enact the roles of escaping slaves.
The Underground Railroad Tour is a "storytelling" simulation of the original Underground Railroad which operated roughly between 1840 and 1863. Lasting approximately 30 minutes, the tour begins with participants having a "slave shackle" placed on their wrists, symbolizing their entry into slavery. Passing through the "Door of No Return" on Goree Island in Africa, they eventually enter a life of slavery in the Deep South on the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana.
As escaping slaves, they become "passengers" (called packages or freight) on the Underground Railroad. Led by an Underground Railroad conductor, they embark on a journey in which they hide out in a cave, cross over the Ohio "Deep River", take refuge in the safe house "station" belonging to Quaker Abolitionist Levi Coffin in Indiana, then move onto "Midnight", the code name for Detroit.
There they receive assistance in the basement of the First Congregational Church of Detroit at Fort and Wayne (now Washington Boulevard) streets, they pass the hotel barn of Abolitionist Seymour Finney, owner of Finney's Hotel, then onto a dock on the Detroit River, where they are met by the Riverboat Captain who removes their "shackles" and directs them across the River to their journey's end: Canada & freedom.
An interactive Children's Museum with the promotion of good health, the development of productive living skills, and the prevention of unproductive behaviors as its focus.
The Living Theatre for All God's Children
A series of interactive learning centers designed to celebrate and bring alive the Bible for all of God's children (Jews, Christians, Muslims & others).
The Gardens of First Church
A "walking tour", in which plant materials and artifacts are used to provide enjoyment and biblical education (i.e., the Cedars of Lebanon; Rose of Sharon, Living Water Fount, etc.).