Galvanized by the abolitionist fervor of the 1830s, a band of 38 religious pioneers from Genesee County, New York came here in four covered wagons with plans for building the town and church in 1836. Almost from the beginning, it was a station on the Underground Railroad, smuggling slaves to freedom in Canada. The original church consisted of a frame structure built of logs and covered with the canvas from a covered wagon. The cornerstone of the present church was laid in July 1855. Since our humble beginnings, our focus on reaching out to others has continued and grown. We have contributed to many local and global ministries.
What is the UCC?
First Congregational Church is part of the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC is a diverse denomination that came into being when several distinct Christian traditions merged in 1957. Today, the UCC is a “united and uniting” church that welcomes everyone and actively cooperates with other faith traditions. Throughout its history the UCC has lived out its faith in God by responding to the needs and concerns of the world through social responsibility and action. The UCC, with its more than 500,000 congregations and nearly one million members, is a denomination that seeks to create a more loving and just world for all. To learn more about the UCC please click on the following link: www.ucc.org
Our faith compels us to be active and engaged in our community. The Mission and Outreach Committee is the medium through which our congregation expresses meaningful commitments of our congregation. We are longtime supporters of the Geneseo Food Pantry, and in recent years we have been active in Backpack Blessings (which provides weekend meals for children who are food-insecure). Resources are generated within our congregation through meaningful social events such as a family-friendly trivia night, a Shrimp Boil and Mission Presentation, pocket-change Sunday, just to name a few. For over 35 years, a beloved mid-summer tradition is the annual Corn Boil Fundraiser, which is open to the wider community. Since its inception, 100% of the proceeds from this event go to hunger relief locally and globally.
In addition to being locally engaged, Our Mission Board provides support to our denomination, the United Church of Christ, which provides financial support to Global Ministry work, disaster relief, support for the wider church and its growth, as well as support to retired ministers in need. We are a congregation that fosters a sense of reaching out and giving back. This is expressed through periodic weeklong mission trips, where our work is designated by the host-site, and has included housing repairs, youth engagement, logistical support and meal preparation.
We welcome fresh energy that enhances our ability to serve our local and global community!
Sunday morning Worship is at the center of our life together at First Congregational Church. Our uplifting and joyful worship service begins at 9:00 a.m. in our beautiful sanctuary. Each transformative worship service offers inspiring music, a special time for children, a message that touches your heart and stimulates your mind, humor, and time for prayer. Youth and adult volunteers help lead the worship services. You are invited to worship God with our warm and caring congregation. Worshiping God is a wonderful shared experience that can kindle your faith.
The Pioneer is our monthly newsletter. Each issue of The Pioneer includes a message from the pastor, information about upcoming events, reports, a church calendar, news from around the Illinois conference and Western Association, and much more. Sign up for The Pioneer! It is a great way to get connected and stay informed!