Did You Know ... ?
National Web Site
We are eager to share with you the broad and diverse story of the
United Church of Christ. With all Christians, we rest in Godís amazing
grace and hear Godís voice in the words of Scripture. Yet, 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 rests within each
congregation. We support liberty in our pulpits, just as we affirm the
individual conscience of our 1.2-million members to agree, disagree and
wrestle with lifeís biggest questions in a spirit of love. Our story is
this nationís story. 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 membership includes persons from every
immigrant group, as well as native peoples and descendants of freed slaves.
Our unity is not dependent upon uniform agreement, but in our shared
allegiance to Jesus Christ.
∑† We were the first denomination to accept women
in colleges and to ordain women to the ministry.
∑† The creators of the Boston Tea Party met and
organized in the basement of one of our Boston churches.
∑† The Liberty Bell was stolen and hidden to save
it from the British by members of one of our Philadelphia churches.
∑† The US Constitution is largely based on the
Constitution of Connecticut, which was taken primarily from a sermon series
by Thomas Hooker, one of our ministers in Hartford, on "The Liberties
∑† We were first to insist on free education for
all children. And in the early days of settlement in the East, people were
given free land on which to build a new community provided they would in
five years have a permanent pastor and provide for free education for all
∑† Believing that good Christians should be
educated Christians, we founded Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Wellesley, Mount
Holyoke, Oberlin, Heidelberg, Elmhurst, Ripon, Carleton, Grinnel,
Vanderbilt, Fisk, Pacific School, Prescott, and more than forty other
colleges and seminaries.
∑† The very first missionaries sent from the US to
serve in the world came from one of our UCC seminaries in the famous
∑† The great movie about the slave ship Amistad
is totally entwined with our denomination's heritage.
∑† UCC hospitals, children's homes, nursing and
retirement facilities, disability facilities, adoption programs, and
multiple charitable programs expend over $2.7 billion a year to care for
and minister to more than a million people.