UCC Firsts!

1620 – Pilgrims seek spiritual freedom, forbearers of the New England Puritans

1700 – Early stand against slavery

Rev. Sewall writes the first anti-slavery pamphlet in American, “The Selling of Joseph”. Laying the foundation for the abolitionist movement a century later.

1785 – First ordained African American…

…Rev. Lemuel Haynes, became a renowned preacher and writer.

1812 – First foreign missionaries (to India)

1817 – First School for the Deaf

1839 – Defining moment for the Abolitionist movement

Chained Africans seize control of the slave ship Amistad. They are recaptured and jailed in New Haven, CT. Congregationalists and other Christians organize a campaign to free the captives. The Supreme Court rules the captives are not property, and the Africans regain their freedom. The jailed African’s lawyer was John Quincy Adams.

1853 – First ordained woman, Pastor Antoinette Brown, serves a congregation

1957 – The United Church of Christ is formed…

…when the Evangelical and Reformed Church unites with the Congregational Christian Churches, embracing believers of African, Asian, Pacific, Latin American, Native American and European descent.

1972 – First ordained openly gay Pastor – Rev. William R. Johnson

2005 – Marriage Equality

 The governing body of the UCC (General Synod) affirms the civil rights of same gender couples.