This collection primarily represents the activities of the Separate, or Strict Congregational Church, in Canterbury, Connecticut. Formed initially in 1744, the Strict Congregational Church was the first of its kind formed in the state. The Strict Church developed from schisms within the First Congregational Church as a result of the First Great Awakening. Issues over polity, such as infant baptism, and monetary issues, such as paying taxes to support the established church and ministers, became central to the arguments over the schism. At the time of the schism the Strict Church took a majority of the First Congregational Church's members.
The Strict Congregational Church was active in Strict Congregational Convention through the end of the 18th-century. Evidently there were two mergers with the First Congregational Church, one in 1807 and another in 1844. By the middle of the 19th-century, the Strict Congregational Church was no more, with their meeting house in the north of Canterbury being demolished after disuse.
Parts of this historical note have been adapted from one produced by the Connecticut Historical Society.