Islamic group plans to buy historic Bridgeport church property

By Phil Hall

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The Bridgeport Islamic Community Center is moving ahead with its plan to buy the property belonging to the United Congregational Church, the oldest continuous Christian community in Bridgeport.

According to the BICC Facebook page, the organization has an initial agreement to purchase the UCC property at 877 Park Ave. in Bridgeport as the future site of its Islamic Center. The church congregation has yet to give its final approval on the sale, but Pastor Sara Smith told the Connecticut Post that the church and BICC are planning to hold a news conference on Dec. 5, although she declined to preview what will be announced and has made no comment on the church’s future or BICC’s purchase plans.

The United Congregational Church traces its roots to 1693 as the First Church of Christ in Stratfield. The church building was constructed in 1925 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. BICC was founded in 1997, and its leader Ahmed Ebrahim used Facebook to state that BICC plans to “close the deal around May 1, 2017 to have the next holy month of Ramadan in the new Islamic Center, and we will need $400,000 by this date to turn this into a reality.”

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