Established in 1724, Center Congregational is the parish that founded Meriden. At that time, a town was not official until it had a pastor. When residents of what was greater Wallingford tired of walking miles to their church, they broke off from it -- and their town -- and started Center Congregational. The church's rich history doesn't end there, in the mid-1800's its congregation was filled with staunch abolitionists. According to pastor James Olson, this focus on social justice is still evident in Center Congregational's community today. In addition to lending out space to non-profit groups like the Central Connecticut Youth Orchestras, the church has a Parish Nursing program where registered nurses offer the congregation health education and screenings and on the first and third Wednesday of each month record blood pressure, provide medical advice and referrals from the general public from noon to 3pm.