As denominations go, the United Church of Christ is new growth from very old roots. In New England, those roots reach back to the Congregationalists and all those white churches dotting town greens across the region. Since the beginning, the UCC has been a church of prophetic "firsts," including: The first African-American (Lemuel Haynes, 1785), first woman (Antoinette Brown), and first openly gay person (William R. Johnson, 1972) ordained to ministry 1700: Rev. Samuel Sewall writes the first anti-slavery pamphlet in America, laying the groundwork for the abolition movement to follow 1959: At the request of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the UCC sues to ensure that the airwaves are public property. As a result, the civil rights movement will be televised. 2005: The General Synod of the UCC passes a resolution affirming marriage equality for same-sex couples and encourage local congregations to celebrate and bless those marriages.
Here are some interesting documents you can download that will provide insight into our long and eventful history which began in 1742. There are also many historical documents and artifacts relating to United Church archived by the New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Avenue New Haven CT 06510, 203.562.4183.
- A Brief History of United Church on the Green
- An Architechural History of the United Church Meeting House
- The Old Light-New Light Controversy Explained
- The Covenant in the Wilderness by Roland H. Bainton
- The Three Churches on the Green by Rollin G. Osterweis
- Remarks on the History of the three Churches on the New Haven Green by Former Mayor, Toni Harp. (2015)
- A Brief History of the New Haven Green