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  • Writer's pictureFirst Congregational Church Topeka

What is the story of 1st Nighters'

by: Ann Nelson

First Nighters is a women’s fellowship group that was founded in 1947 by a group

of working women who were unable to attend meetings of the organized First

Congregational Church’s Women’s Fellowship. They were all working downtown

and met at a restaurant. A 1961 report stated they were each paying $1.25 for

dinner and donating 25 cents to a “kitty.” As these women retired they continued

to gather for pot-luck dinners in their homes and gained new younger members.

To accommodate the younger members they moved to the parlor of the church

and provided a babysitter for children (Jennifer Bliss was one of those


When Women’s Fellowship was discontinued in 2016 the First Nighters continued

to meet. To avoid night time driving, this small group now meets on the second

Monday of each month at 1:00 in the church parlor to enjoy each other and share

a pot-luck lunch. They continue the practice started by the original members of

making a small donation at each meeting to build their treasury for contributing

within the church or the community.

Visitors and/or new members are always welcome.



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