The Chipman-Harrison Learning Center is dedicated in gratitude to George Harrison, a member of this church since 1946. In 1959 Mr. Harrison established the Chipman-Harrison Fund as a memorial to this wife’s mother, Jean Stuart Chipman, and his own mother, Annie Belle Harrison. The Fund is invested for the life and ministry of this church. Mr. Harrison continued to contribute to the Fund each year until his death in June of 1997. It is with the greatest respect that we continue to honor his name, and his memory, in The Chipman-Harrison Learning Center.

The Chipman-Harrison Learning Center consists of nine rooms:

The Osborne Room The Thayer Room
The Boone Room The Stiles-Hopkins Room
The Gardner Room The VanDyke Room
The Patriots Room The Gray Room
The Manchester Room

Of these nine rooms, four are used as working classrooms; two are used as a nursery for infant/toddler care; another serves as the Music Office, and the last serves as a classroom and Christian Education Resource Center, housing audio and video equipment, books, videotapes, audio tapes, maps, etc.  That classroom also serves as the office of The Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministries.  A map of the Chipman-Harrison Learning Center, and the history, dedication, and description of each of the rooms within it follows.







During the American Revolution, when the Island was ravaged by war, and First and Second Congregational Churches were confiscated by the British to be used as barracks, Mrs. Sarah Osborne kept “the almost extinct flame of worship” glowing in her humble home. The historian records: “The brutal soldiery, which had no mercy for the citizens generally, but tore down 480 of their dwellings, had great respect for Mrs. Osborne, and styled her, ‘the good woman.’ Practically all that was left of the church at this time might be found at the little prayer meeting in the Osborne House.” The bravery and courage of Sarah Osborne is honored in the dedication of this room to her memory.

Isaiah the Prophet proclaims:  “They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations.”



The Osborne Room serves as a Nursery and is the care center for infants.



The Thayer Room is named for the Reverend Thatcher Thayer, Pastor from 1841-1873. Credit goes to the Rev. Dr. Thayer who is said to have influenced William Sanford Rogers to appropriate the funds for a new educational venture in Newport — a “higher” school “open to persons of either sex” intended to be “a school of highest and most general culture.” The sum of one hundred thousand dollars was appropriated for the support of teachers and toward a new building. Thus, Rogers High School came into being. The old Rogers reverted to elementary grades and took on the name of Thayer School, honoring the Congregational clergyman who was so instrumental in securing the Rogers bequest and fostering public education on the Island.

The Psalmist prayed:  “Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end.”



The Thayer Room houses toddlers:  preschool children who are not yet 4 years old, are potty-trained, and “on their feet”.



The Boone Room is named for Daniel U. Boone whose devotion to Christ and the church is remembered by his service through the ministry of music and membership in the choir.

The Psalmist call us to:  “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.”



The Boone Room serves as Music Office for Jeffrey Kerr, Director of Music.



The Gardner Room is named for one who, as a young African American boy, was brought from his native Africa and sold as a slave in the then active slave market in Newport. Taking the name of his owner, Gardner, he was called Newport Gardner — a young man of more than ordinary perceptiveness — docile and anxious to learn. To his many talents he added a distinct gift for music. With an excellent voice, he became a composer and teacher of music, conducting choruses with a special interest in sacred music. A strong religious faith kept him going. He took encouragement from the Reverend Samuel Hopkins whom he served faithfully as the aged Pastor became more physically feeble. When financially able to purchase his freedom, he sailed from Boston Harbor in 1825 to become a Christian missionary to his own people in his native land. He died at the age of 80, a month after arrival in his home country. His life was one of positive and lasting contribution to the community in which he lived, and the church where he worshipped.

Jesus commissions us:  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”



The Gardner Room will serve as classroom for “Little Fishies“:  the 4- and 5-year olds.



The Stiles-Hopkins Room is named for two prominent former pastors of this congregation:

The Reverend Ezra Stiles, pastor of the Second Congregational Church from 1755-1786; patriot, scholar, reformer, leaving here to become president of Yale College. He left a lasting mark on the church, Aquidneck Island, and the State of Rhode Island.

The Reverend Samuel Hopkins, pastor of the First Congregational Church from 1770-1803; noted author, theologian, patriot and Abolitionist, who convinced members of his congregation of the evils of slavery, resulting in the freeing of their slaves. Both the First and Second Congregational Churches became the United Congregational Church in 1833.


The Stiles-Hopkins Room serves as a classroom for kids in Grades 1 and 2



The vanDyke Room is named for The Reverend Henry vanDyke, Pastor of United from 1879-1882. This was Dr. vanDyke’s first pastorate. From here he served for a short while at Brick Presbyterian in New York City before accepting a professorship at Princeton University where he began his most prolific writing as an author on a host of subjects. This congregation fondly remembers him for his words written to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” — “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”

The Proverbs proclaim:  “Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck,

write them on the tablet of your heart.”



The vanDyke Room serves as a classroom for children in Grades 3, 4, and 5.



United Congregational Church, commonly called “The Church of The Patriots,” gratefully acknowledges the contributions to our nation’s life of countless members and friends of the church, particularly paying tribute to:

William Ellery:  signer of the Declaration of Independence;

William Vernon:  privateer, who is credited with initiating the inception of the American Navy;

Henry Marchant:  first Attorney General of Rhode Island;

Sarah Osborne and Susannah Anthony:  who kept the Congregational Way alive during the British occupation;

The Reverend John W. Dorney:  Pastor from 1963-1972, under whose leadership the congregation voted in 1964 to be known as “The Church of the Patriots.”


The Patriots Room will serves as the classroom for children in grades 6 and 7.



The Gray Room is named for Elizabeth K. Gray, whose love for God and active membership in this church were expressed in every area of her gracious life. This room is dedicated in grateful remembrance for her service in ministry to children through the church school from 1972-1979.

In the words of Proverbs:  “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”



The Gray Room serves as a classroom for the Jr./Sr. High; as a Resource Room of Christian Education materials and equipment; i.e. reference books, Bibles, audio and video equipment, maps, tapes, etc., and as the office for Megan Weymouth, Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministries.



The Manchester Room was named to honor a family of long-standing relationship to this church. Deacon A. Russell Manchester and his wife Sallie became members of the church in 1872 and gave generously of their time, talent, and treasure. Their six daughters, affectionately known as “The Manchester Girls,” carried on the family devotion. Ethel Manchester, the last surviving member of the family, whose heart was, up to the last day of her life, very much in the life of the church, died in February, 1988, at the age of 99. The Manchester Room is designed for adult Christian Education of all kinds in memory of a family for whom education and the Christian life were of utmost importance.


The Manchester Room serves as the meeting place for adult classes, forums, lectures, etc., and will also continue to serve as a meeting location for the Church Council, church boards, committees, and small groups. Periodically throughout the year The Manchester Room houses evening Vespers.  It is also the church’s formal parlor and can accommodate small receptions, recitals, meetings, group or private meditations, pastoral consultations, etc.



From the earliest days of the Pilgrims and Puritans, Congregational Churches were called Meeting Houses — places of gathering for meeting God and one another. Farnum Hall is just such a place. A grateful congregation names it for Walter Willis Farnum. The bronze plaque in the sanctuary expresses it best:



A loving friend of this church
whose generous bequest made
this House of Worship possible.


Farnum Hall serves as our “gathering place”. Many a banquet, potluck supper, large meeting, fundraiser, and party has been held in this room. It is the worship center for our children’s “Circle Time” each Sunday morning, houses our fellowship hour each week after the church service, and is often used for church school special events.


What People are Saying

This church offers friendship, music and the preaching of God's word.
The trucks in the nursery are fun to play with. — Kevin, Age 6
We love this church because of the loving and family atmosphere. The children's program is the best - our children look forward to coming to church. — Lisa
I like coloring with my friends during Sunday School. — Violet, Age 7
I have fun playing games while I learn about Jesus. — Nik, Age 10
UCC, Middletown – A wonderful place to make 100 real friends without using Facebook. — Chris, Age 60
The kindest compilation of friends and family reside within our community. I've made some of my best friends here and joining the church is the best decision I've ever made. — Noah, 16
I am grateful for the many opportunities to be of service to others. — Jack, Age 78
Our Church is generous with people in need. Our church has great programs for children and youth. — Joe, Over 65
The people, the pastor, and the music all fulfill my spiritual needs and provide a sense of peace. — Florence, Age 85
Sunday Morning Worship Schedule: Worship: 10:00 - 11:00
Sunday School: 10:00 - 11:00
Fellowship Time: 11:00 +