Stone Church Coffeehouse History
The Stone Church Coffeehouse was started in 2007. Casual discussions between members of the First Congregational Church in Bristol and Roger Dubord regarding their love of folk music resulted in an epiphany "Why don't we start a Coffeehouse"! Roger Dubord then passed the idea by several other members of the Congregation to see if there was interest and would they help get the Coffeehouse off the ground. So it was decided over the span of three months starting in March 2007, there would be one show per month to see if there was community interest.
The first experimental show was held on March 31, 2007 featuring Allysen Callery and Empty Pockets Bluegrass. Attendance for that show was 91guests which was very encouraging. That first show was followed by two more shows on April 28 and May 26. After these initial three shows, Roger met with the volunteers and discussed the results of the experiment. It was decided that it was a success and a Coffeehouse was born!!
What would we call the new Coffeehouse? We thought about it for quite some time and then we all had one of those "aha" moments. The Coffeehouse is going to be in the social room of a church and that church is a stone church, so why not call it the Stone Church Coffeehouse. Brilliant!
Our first Stone Church Coffeehouse committee meeting was held on July 11, 2007. The initial volunteers included: Roger and Donna Dubord, Dave Carney, Betsy Gamwell, Eloise Stalk, Jack and Barbara Ringland, Dave and Janie Hayes, and Roberta Hopkins. At this meeting we discussed many ideas for the Coffeehouse startup. These ideas included: a Mission Statement, election of officers and a LOGO.
At the conclusion of the Committee meeting on September 18, 2007, we had agreed on a Mission Statement and elected the following officers: Roger Dubord, Director; Dave Carney, Deputy Director; Jack Ringland, Volunteer Coordinator; and Betsy Gamwell/Eloise Stalk, Refreshments Coordinator.
The first performance at the Stone Church Coffeehouse with Donna Lange was held on September 29, 2007. However, we still didn't have a LOGO. We tossed around several ideas over several months. One of those ideas was a drawing of a guitar with a silhouette of the church within the drawing. We sought out a small business to help us. We sat down with a graphic designer at Graphic Ink in East Providence to discuss our idea for a LOGO design. After several discussions and iterations, we selected a design and coloration that we liked and we had a LOGO. The design was completed in early 2008.
The Stone Church Coffeehouse is more than a venue to showcase local and regional talent. Coffeehouses have a social and community pulse. They are a place for people to meet, socialize and be entertained. If managed appropriately and staying true to the Mission Statement, the Stone Church Coffeehouse will be a respected and recognized part of the Bristol Community for a long time.
The Stone Church Coffeehouse has been honored to have won the Rhode Island Monthly Magazine award for Best Local Music Venue for 5 years from 2018-2022.