The Traditions that Make up the UCC

The Congregational Churches were organized when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation (1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629) acknowledged their essential unity in the Cambridge Platform of 1648. 

The Christian Churches sprang up in the late 1700s and early 1800s in reaction to the theological and organizational rigidity of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches of the time. 

The Evangelical Synod of North America traced its beginnings to an association of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri. This association, founded in 1841, reflected the 1817 union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany. 

The Reformed Church in the United States traced its beginnings to congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania founded from 1725 on. Later, its ranks were swelled by Reformed immigrants from Switzerland, Hungary, and other countries. 

In addition to the historic four denominations that origionally founded the UCC, faith groups including Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Volga Germans, Armenians, and Hispanic Americans have joined our family.


In recent years, Christians from other traditions, including the Roman Catholic Church, have found a home in the UCC as have gay and lesbian Christians who have not been welcome in other churches. Thus the United Church of Christ celebrates and continues a wide variety of traditions in its common life.