Clinton United Church of Christ Celebrates 175 Years
There were many exciting things happening in 1843: Chester A. Arthur was president of the United States; the first Vaudeville theater was opened in Boston, Massachusetts; the Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic after 13 years of construction; the world’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas, and in Clinton, Michigan on April 28, the First Congregational Church of Clinton was organized. Jira Payne donated land and in October of 1844, the current church building at 300 Tecumseh Rd was completed.
This church has weathered many a storm in its past and has stayed the test of time. During the Civil War, it is said that the “pros and cons” sat on opposite sides of the church with grim faces and that one member established a station on the Underground Railroad to Canada. World War I and World War II left their mark in the church as they did in the community. And the Women’s Missionary Society served the community throughout.
Today we are known as United Church of Christ (UCC), but that didn’t happen overnight. The history of the UCC is the combined history of the Congregational Church, Christian Church, Evangelical Church and the Reformed Church. It was in 1957 that these four religious streams came together to form the UCC, and the key word here is “United.” In many ways, we are the first truly American denomination. One might ask, “How on earth can four denominations come together without major difficulties?” Well, it isn’t easy, but in John 17:21 we hear these words from Jesus,“ I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one”(NLT). Each church is autonomous and self-governing with its own constitution and bylaws. We are in covenant with all other churches in our Association, Conference and National UCC Organization. We are here to help one another, to support one another and to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world together. To go where God leads us, because you see, we believe we should never put a period where God has placed a comma and that God is still speaking to and through each of us. God is working through everyday people like you and me to create a “Just World for all.” This is who we are and how we strive to serve. We invite all to join us in our mission.