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History of Plymouth United Church of Christ

Plymouth United Church of Christ is a local congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), which is descended directly from the Pilgrim and Puritan settlers. Read more.

The Early Years

The church from which Plymouth takes its name began in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1892 as a Congregationalist church. One year later, the Plymouth Congregational church building was erected at the corner of Franklin and Dolbee streets in Grand Rapids. In 1928, the Congregationalists, believing in the unity and dignity of all people under God, united with the "Christian" denomination. Read more.

Plymouth and the UCC in the 1950s

Jump to 1955. A new congregation was forming in the growing southeast section of the Grand Rapids metropolitan community. Named "Bowen Congregational Church," it first met in the Paris Township Hall. Around that same time, Plymouth was looking to move into an area of residential growth. The two churches decided to combine their efforts. The Plymouth church building was sold and the church disbanded so that all could start together as the new Plymouth in its present location. The two churches incorporated in 1957 as “Plymouth Congregational Church.”

That same year, the United Church of Christ came into being as a merger of the Congregational Christian Church (to which Plymouth belonged) and the Evangelical and Reformed Church (itself a 1934 merger of the German Evangelical Church and the German Reformed Church). Votes by local Congregational churches to join the merger would follow within the next few years. Plymouth is one of 25 UCC churches that marked its 50th anniversary along with the UCC. Read more.

Plymouth in the 21st Century

In 2011, following a vote of the congregation, Plymouth UCC filed a Certificate of Assumed Name with the State of Michigan in order to officially use the name “Plymouth United Church of Christ.” This was done to lessen confusion about Plymouth’s denominational affiliation and our understanding of what the church should be. Plymouth honors its Congregational foundation by retaining the legal identity of its old name, “Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.”

Phone: 616-455-4260
Fax: 616-455-4149
Email: Plymouth (at)
4010 Kalamazoo Avenue SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508

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