Congregationalism was widespread in New England in the colonial period, and, following the American Revolution, its leaders helped to shape American institutional and religious life. Nineteenth-century English Congregationalists prospered and enacted programs promoting social and economic justice.
Schisms and Sects
The Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, created by mergers of other denominations in the 1930s, continued their quest to end schism and separation in Christianity by merging in 1957 to create the United Church of Christ.
Missions and Expansion
The missionary roots of the UCC lie in the mainly Congregational American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, founded in 1810. The UCC is exceptionally active in the modern ecumenical movement.
Exploration and Conquest
In the tumultuous English Reformation of the late 16th century, early Congregationalists were at times persecuted for their beliefs. Some of them settled in Holland, and from that community the Mayflower pilgrims sailed for New England in 1620.
Since 1985, the UCC has been in ecumenical partnership with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), operating a teaching and service organization called Global Ministries. It continues to advocate for peace and justice and Christian unity across denominations and differences.