It is called The Living Museum because while at the same time it has been a living, functioning church since 1844, the significance of its history and architecture makes it a historical museum resource that rightfully belongs to the entire community.
The purpose of the First of First Living Museum is to make available for the enjoyment and education of the general public:
- the historical and architectural aspects of the church and its buildings
- exhibits which is some way reflect the history and culture of the Congregational Way as it has and presently shapes and impacts the emerging culture
- the "face of God" without being evangelical
The First Congregational Living Museum is housed in the First Congregational Church of Detroit and its Albert Kahn-designed Angels' Wing Community House.
It utilizes objects, maintains a professional staff, and is open to the public on a regular schedule. It is a client-centered institution in which the needs and interest of the audience, the motivation to learn, and the empowerment of the visitor through contact and direct experience with objects/exhibits are as important as subject or content focus.