We are a community of people, friends and neighbors and families, seeking a relationship with God and with one another. Many of our folks come from a religious tradition other than United Church of Christ. In some ways we are outsiders welcoming people, seeking to make connections. We are progressive and we are people who perhaps have been stung or even shunned for our belief that God is loving and accepting of people who may be different from us. And some of us were those “different” people seeking love and acceptance, eager to find a church that proclaims God’s love for all.
We say, and we believe, that Congregational Church truly welcomes the presence and participation of all regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, background, or even university loyalties!
We are a leading congregation in Greensboro and in North Carolina in matters of social and racial justice. We are a leader in full marital rights for all loving couples. Our members and regular attenders are well-educated and active. Few of us are life-long members of our denomination – we’ve got ex-baptists, ex-catholics, ex-unitarians, and ex-coffee shop and Sunday papers denizens. One quarter of our people are retired, many of them are busier now than when they pursued their careers. We have school teachers, professors, school administrators, counselors, social workers, police officers, nurses, medical techs. We have a number of families with adopted children. We have a number of recovering northerners, some of whom miss the snow. We have a lot of introverts. And we laugh a lot, at ourselves, our foibles, sometimes we laugh at our clergy.
Our church was founded in 1900 and met in a Quaker Meeting House, as a mission church of the Christian Church, a predecessor of the Congregational Christian Church, itself a predecessor of the United Church of Christ. Our church moved into its own building in 1903, at the corner of Walker Avenue and Eugene Street. From there we moved to Radiance Drive to a new building in 1952. In that day, we were at the western edge of the city, and Friendly Avenue turned into a dirt road bound for Guilford College. Greensboro has changed some in our 117 years!
The UCC is a relatively young denomination, created out of mergers of 4 smaller protestant groups, but our history spans five centuries, back to the Puritan days in New England. Our churches are independent, but bound together by covenant. Today the UCC speaks of offering An Extravagant Welcome to all.
We are a proud part of the United Church of Christ, probably the most progressive Protestant Denomination. The UCC list of firsts is impressive: the first African-American man ordained, the first woman ordained, the first gay man ordained, the first denomination to elect an African American as its President, the first denomination to fully support same-gender marriage. The UCC was the first American denomination to be active in overseas missions. The UCC founded numerous colleges in the 19th century, and started a few before that. You may have heard of one of those colleges founded by our predecessors, Harvard College. You can find out more about the United Church of Christ at ucc.org.