The History of Faith United Church of Christ
Faith United Church of Christ was founded as Faith Evangelical and Reformed church in 1951 to provide religious education to the children of the General Protestant Orphan Home, later known as Beech Acres Orphanage.
The congregation of Faith Church worshipped for the first time in 1951 in the auditorium of the orphanage administration building and continued to hold services there until the church building was built in 1954. The space, now our sanctuary, served as a worship space, educational building, and Fellowship Hall.
As the congregation grew, a Fellowship Hall, a kitchen, and Sunday school rooms were added.
In 1957 the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Church to become a new denomination – The United Church of Christ.
While this brought about a change in the church’s name, Faith United Church of Christ continued to grow its ministry in the local and wider community. Though Beech Acres is no longer an orphanage and the church no longer has institutional ties there, the legacy of missions and welcoming children and others seeking a church home continues.
About the United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.
With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where “…they may all be one” (John 17:21).
The Church of Firsts
Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace.
Together, we live out our faith in ways that affect change in our communities. The UCC’s many “firsts” mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith. When we read in Galatians: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”—a demand is made upon us.
And so, we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry.
We were at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.
A Church of Extravagant Welcome
Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners.
We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways. We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive. We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.
We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.