A Denomination of Firsts: The UCC

The United Church of Christ is a church of firsts—the first historically white church to ordain an African American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry.

The UCC is a diverse community of 5,000 churches and 1 million members held together by their covenantal promise to serve God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.

In the UCC, each congregation is autonomous, a member of the national church but not subject to it. The members of a congregation are its ultimate authority. It is covenant, a promise like a wedding vow to stay in the relationship, that keeps individuals, each church, and regional and national offices tied together.

It was formed by the merger in 1957 of four long-standing denominations:

  • The Congregational Churches, which began in England and included the Puritans in New England;
  • The Christian Church, which grew out of the Second Great Awakening in America;
  • The Evangelical and Reformed Church, brought to America by German immigrants;
  • The Reformed Churches formed in the Calvinist tradition in Switzerland, England, France and Germany

All four denominations subscribed to the reunifying trend during the early 20th century.


“That they may all be one”

Purpose Statement:

To love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves

Vision Statement:

United in Christ’s love, a just world for all

Mission Statement:

United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all and seek justice for all