The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a Protestant Christian denomination that has its roots in the Congregational, Christian, and Evangelical and Reformed traditions. The UCC was formed in 1957 by the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
The Congregational Christian Churches had their origins in the Puritan churches of New England, which were established in the early 17th century. These churches were founded on the principles of local congregational autonomy, a belief in the authority of the Bible, and a commitment to social justice. The Christian Church, on the other hand, was founded in the early 19th century and emphasized the importance of personal faith and evangelism.
The Evangelical and Reformed Church was formed in 1934 through the merger of the Reformed Church in the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America. The Reformed Church had its roots in the Swiss Reformation led by John Calvin in the 16th century, while the Evangelical Synod was founded by German immigrants in the late 19th century.
In 1957, the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged to form the United Church of Christ. The merger was seen as a way to create a stronger and more unified Protestant denomination in the United States. The UCC has since grown to become one of the largest Protestant denominations in the country, with over 5,000 churches and nearly 1 million members.
The UCC has a long history of social activism and advocacy. It was the first mainline Protestant denomination to ordain an African American minister in 1785 and has been a strong voice for civil rights, women's rights, and LGBTQ rights. The denomination has also been active in promoting environmental stewardship and advocating for peace and justice around the world.