The United Church of Christ is a church of open ideas and extravagant welcome. With all Christians, we rest in God's amazing grace and hear God's voice in the words of Scripture. Yet the UCC is unique to some because we do not require uniformity of belief. We are a diverse people called to walk together in Christ. Looking back to the Mayflower Pilgrims (1620), we are one of the oldest Protestant denominations in America.
But we are not stuck in the past—we believe that God is still speaking, and we strive to be attentive to God's creative movement in the world. The UCC was the first mainline denomination to ordain an African-American (Lemuel Haynes, 1785), a woman (Antoinette Brown, 1853), and an openly gay pastor (William Johnson, 1972). It was also the first to form a foreign mission society (1810).
Since the founding of St. Paul's UCC in 1838, we have witnessed to God's love through vital worship, Christian education for children and adults, and a deep commitment to serving our neighbors, locally and globally. We believe that Christ's communion table is open, not closed, and that God's gift and claim in baptism are irrevocable. We teach that all people are God's children, loved and accepted just as they are. We believe that each person is unique and valuable, with a precious gift to share.
The St. Paul's Story
Our church was founded when a group of German-Americans decided to build a church together in Uwchlan Township. Some came out of the German Reformed tradition, looking back to Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin as founding parents, and some came out of the Lutheran tradition, looking back to Martin Luther. Union churches of this kind were common in the 1700s and 1800s, especially in Pennsylvania, since there were often not enough ordained ministers to serve the large numbers of German immigrants.
By the early 1800s Uwchlan was thriving with fruitful farms, general stores, inns, livery stables, lime kilns, sawmills, pottery kilns, grist mills, cabinet makers, who were also undertakers, tanneries, a hat factory, tinsmiths, tailor shops, wheelwright and blacksmith shops, watchmakers, harness makers, woodcutters and charcoal makers for the kilns, and mining of clay and graphite. One-room schoolhouses were built to serve the growing numbers of children. These were our founding members: farmers, tradespeople, teachers. Beginning in 1833, our forebears met for Sunday school in the White School, which was the first public school in the township. In 1838 our first church building was erected, marking the birth of our congregation. After 14 years the Lutheran congregation withdrew their interest to build a new structure in the village of Lionville, but the Reformed congregation stayed on at the same site, where our church building, erected in 1884, continues to serve as our home today.
We are committed to equality:
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ is committed to providing equal opportunities to all persons regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, economic, Veteran, health or marital status. This policy applies to all members, prospective members, and employees of St. Paul's.