About

The United Church of Christ, Williams Bay, originally called First Congregational Church, was founded in 1896 as the first English-speaking church in Williams Bay, as the only other church, the Free Evangelical Lutheran Church only conducted services in Norwegian and Swedish. 

In 1901, Congregationalists dedicated their new church building at the corner of Geneva and Valley Streets. The structure was destroyed by fire in December of 1911, but a new church was build at the same location and dedicated in May 1912.  That building lasted until February of 1953 when another fire destroyed the structure. A new one, the current building at 46 Stam Street, was dedicated in 1954. 

In 1957 the church changed its name when Congregational, Christian, Evangelical and Reformed Churches combined to become the United Church of Christ.  

The denomination embraces the autonomy of the local church, responsible individual freedom, acceptance of all people and commitment to live out the faith through acts of peace and justice.  

The United church of Christ has Boldly extended an invitation to all for more than 350 years.

Early Stands Against Slavery
Congregationalists were among the first Americans to take a stand against slavery, with the Rev. Samuel Sewall writing the first anti-slavery pamphlet in America, “The Selling of Joseph” in 1700.

First Ordained African-American Pastor
Lemual Haynes, who eventually became a world-renowned preacher and writer, was the first African American to be ordained by a Protestant denomination in 1785.  

First School for the Deaf
American School for the Deaf (Hartford, CT) was co-founded in 1817 by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, where he introduced American Sign Language. It’s the beginning of a movement that transformed the lives of millions of hearing-impaired persons.

First Ordained Woman
Antoinette Brown was the first woman ordained as a Christian minister in 1853, and perhaps the first woman in history elected to serve a Christian congregation as pastor.

Historic Stance in Civil Rights Movement
Everett Parker, former director of the United Church of Christ Office of Communications, organized churches throughout the 1960’s to stand up against the news blackout of the civil rights movement in the South. The result? The Federal Courts ruled in 1969 that airwaves are public (not private), a historic step in media justice. 
 
First ordination of an Openly Gay Minister
The Rev. William R. Johnson was the first openly gay person to be ordained as a minister in 1972.

Bold Stand for Marriage Equality 
In 2005, the governing body of the United Church of Christ overwhelmingly voted for a resolution in support of same-gender marriage equality and encouraged UCC churches to celebrate and bless these marriages. 

Today, the United Church of Christ extends an Extravagant Welcome to all of God’s people.  


United Church of Christ Statement of Faith—adapted by Robert V. Moss 
 We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify: 
 God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death. 
 God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. 
 God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles. 
 In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator. 
God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races. 
 God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. 
 God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end. 
 Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.
 Amen.

What We Believe 

  We believe in the triune God,

  We believe that each person is unique and valuable, 

  We believe that the UCC is called to be a prophetic church,

  We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, 

  We believe that all of the baptized 'belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

  We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey,

  We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christ's table for the sacrament of Communion,

  We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national & international problems,

  We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth's resources - 'To believe is to care; to 
     care is to do',

  We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear ... for after 
     all, God is still speaking,

  We believe the UCC is called to be a united and uniting church. 


Link to UCC National Organization:
       United Church of Christ.com
(c)2019, All Rights Reserved