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Our Story

The UCC story is broad and diverse, and it's a story that we celebrate. Like all God's children, we rest in God’s amazing grace and hear God’s voice in the words of Scripture. Unlike many other denominations, we do not require uniformity of belief. We are a church of open ideas, extravagant welcome, and evangelical courage. Our passion for democracy extends to both government and church, where decision-making authority rests within each congregation. We support liberty in our pulpits, just as we affirm the individual consciences of our 1.2 million members as they wrestle with life’s biggest questions in a spirit of love.


Our story is the story of the United States. We are the people of the Mayflower. More than 600 of our 5,700 congregations were formed before 1776. Eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of UCC predecessor bodies. As early abolitionists, we came to the aid of the Amistad captives and founded hundreds of schools across the South after the Civil War. We were the first mainline church to ordain an African-American (1785), a woman (1853), and an openly gay pastor (1972). We were also the first to form a foreign mission society (1810).


Our multi-ethnic denominational membership includes people from every immigrant group, as well as native peoples and descendants of freed slaves. Our unity is not dependent upon uniformity, but in our shared allegiance to Jesus Christ. Ours is a risk-taking church, because ours is a risk-taking God. As Gracie Allen once said, "Don't put a period where God put a comma."  In the UCC, we trust that “God is still speaking,”  


(Text adapted from an April 2, 2008 full page ad in The New York Times)

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