Ebensburg originated in November of 1796 when Congregational minister Rhees Lloyd led a small party of 20 Welsh pioneers from Philadelphia to the lands Morgan John Rhees had chosen for his Welsh colony.
They selected an attracted spot in the tops of Allegheny Mountains and there settled what would become Ebensburg. The Congregational Church of Ebenburg was founded shortly thereafter in 1797 by Rhees Llyod. Over 200 years later, we still hold strong to our Congregational roots, but have since joined with the United Church of Christ.
As part of the UCC, we have the opportunity to maintain our autonomy while reaping the benefits of being tied to a nationwide organization. Unlike many denominations, which set ‘rules’ that the congregations must follow, the UCC allows its churches to maintain their individual identity. The First United Church of Christ, a welcoming and diverse UCC congregation located in the Greater Johnstown Area, offers worship services, events, children’s programming, prayer hours, announcements and many other religious services.
We invite everyone to participate. We also have a sister church located at 380 Wilmore Road, Portage Pa. Sunday Worship hours are at 8:30 AM.
Purpose Statement (from the Gospel of Matthew):
To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.
United in Christ's love, a just world for all.
United in Spirit and inspired by God's grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.
What We Believe
The United Church of Christ is not really a “What We Believe” type of denomination. Our church is deeply rooted in the reformed tradition of the Christian faith alongside other mainline protestant denominations but has a congregational model of ministry. Basically, the structure of our denomination is bottom-up instead of top-down. We believe that God moves among the people and so it is the people of each individual church that discern God’s call upon their community and work. Each congregation is independent of each other yet committed to be in covenant with each other to be a united and uniting church as a whole. There are many differences even between South Ebensburg UCC and First UCC. Yet, we know we cannot live into our faith alone so we are intentional about being in relationship with each other. All of us need God and each other for accountability, growth, and friendship.
As a whole, we are a community that welcomes people to ask, why believe? We are not a church of indoctrination but instead one of exploration. We are interested in the way in which God reveals Godself in creation, the Holy Scriptures, the narratives of various people of faith, the Church creeds and statements of faith, the history of the world, the ministry of Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We acknowledge that as we grow in relationship with our creator and each other that God will continuously unveil Godself to us as history unfolds. Therefore, the transformative power of the Holy Spirit may lead our hearts to change the particularities and content of what we believe but our desire and divine call to be in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ our, Lord and Savior, will forever be why we believe. As you seek your what in the why of your beliefs, we invite you to journey with us! We wrestle with and grow in our faith through worship, bible study, mission work, and fellowship with one another. No matter who you are, or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here!