Who We Are

Jackie welcoming

For more than 200 years (1819–2019) the Kent United Church of Christ has been a pillar in Kent, Ohio and the wider community, reflecting the inclusive love of Jesus Christ.

Family United by Faith

A spiritual home, church family, and community center, we strive to offer extravagant hospitality, unconditional acceptance and inspiration to all who walk through our doors. But we also love our neighbors, serve the Kent community, and engage the world outside our walls.

Passionately committed to following the path of Jesus Christ, we accompany individuals on their journey of discipleship, respond to human needs with compassion and work tirelessly for justice in all forms. 


KUCC is an Open and Affirming (ONA) and Accessible to All (A2A) church, we welcome all of God’s children to worship, serve, grow, and experience the joy of the Gospel with us.

KUCC is an Open and Affirming (ONA) and Accessible to All (A2A) church, we welcome all of God’s children to worship, serve, grow, and experience the joy of the Gospel with us.


We are an official Accessible to All (A2A) Congregation, extravagantly welcoming for people of all abilities.

Open and Affirming (ONA)

As an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, Kent UCC welcomes ALL people to our community of faith and affirms the full inclusion of ALL God’s people in the life and ministry of the church. As part of the body of Christ, we are children of God, all people are our siblings, and we are the parents of future generations. We do not discriminate on the bases of any differences—whether of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, economic class, marital status, or physical and/or psychological differences. We welcome all who would participate with us in Christ’s mission and commit ourselves to the struggle against homophobia, racism, and all individual and systemic attitudes and acts of injustice, discrimination, violence, and hatred that work against peace and wholeness.

Our Vision

We are a beloved community where everyone is celebrated as God made us and where all of creation flourishes in the compassion, healing, justice and love of Christ.

Our Mission

Enlivened by the grace of Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Kent United Church of Christ does justice, embraces faithful love, and walks humbly with our God to serve and transform lives, our community and the world. (Micah 6:8)

UCC History

UCC History

200 years old

The United Church of Christ came into being in 1957 with the union of two Protestant denominations: the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these was, in turn, the result of a union of two earlier denominations. 

The Congregational Churches were organized when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation (1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629) acknowledged their essential unity in the Cambridge Platform of 1648. The Reformed Church in the United States traced its beginnings to congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania founded from 1725 on. Later, its ranks were swelled by Reformed folk from Switzerland and other countries.

The Christian Churches sprang up in the late 1700s and early 1800s in reaction to the theological and organizational rigidity of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches of the time. 

The Evangelical Synod of North America traced its beginning to an association of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri. This association, founded in 1840, reflected the 1817 union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany.

Through the years, members of other groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Volga Germans, Armenians, Hungarians, Latino Americans have joined

 Information from the United Church of Christ site, ucc.org

The History of the Kent United Church of Christ

Formally established in 1819 as the First Congregational Church of Franklin Mills (now Kent) we are a congregation of the United Church of Christ, believing in a God of overflowing love who has invited us through the gift of Jesus Christ to share and fulfill that love through extravagant hospitality, building up the community of reconciliation, justice, peace, and joy.

On March 4, 1847, this church took a public stand against slavery. Member Joshua Woodard was the first person in Franklin village to provide shelter for escaping slaves in the Underground Railroad.

Our church also has a long tradition of splendid music. C.T. Williams, a talented organist, came to Kent and joined the church in 1863. He helped to reorganize the church choir and was instrumental in the church purchasing a fine organ. It was the first pipe organ in the county and parts of it are still used today in the distinguished instrument built by the Holtkamp Organ Company in 1974 and refurbished by the Schantz Organ Company in 2011.

In the field of church communications, a most important beginning was made in July, 1936. In that month, the first edition of our church wide newsletter, the “Messenger” appeared. Follow this link to view the current newsletter issue, and an archive of previous issues.

In January 2011, Kent UCC declared itself an Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregation of the United Church of Christ welcoming all LGBTQA+ people to our community of faith and affirming the full inclusion of all God’s people in our life and ministry. We reject any barriers based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, economic class, marital status, or physical and/or psychological differences.

In 2018, Kent UCC also became an “Accessible to All” Congregation of the United Church of Christ by making the commitment to be physically and attitudinally welcoming of people with disabilities. The A2A process has for many years been defined by the A2A resource “Any Body, Everybody, Christ’s Body” of the denomination. A2A is as much about becoming attitudinally affirming to people with disabilities as it is about working to make our buildings physically and programmatically accessible to persons who are differently abled. 

Kent UCC maintains a very strong commitment to outreach and mission, encouraging its members to support and lead local service and philanthropic organizations. We direct a good portion of our operating budget to ministry in the wider church and community with the intention of living out our mission statement. 

UCC “Firsts”

Some say we're not radical, just early!

1700 – Congregational minister Rev. Samuel Sewell writes the first anti-slavery pamphlet, “The Selling of Joseph” in the U.S. It becomes the basis for the abolitionist movement of a century later. 

1773 – 5,000 angry colonists gather at Old South Meeting House to protest an unjust tax on tea. Their protest inspires the first act of civil disobedience in U.S. history—the Boston Tea Party. 

1785 – Lemuel Hayes becomes the first African American ordained by a “mainline” denomination

1817 – Thomas Hopkins Galludette opens the first school for the deaf, teaching sign language and beginning a movement that has transformed the lives of countless hearing-impaired people. 

1839 – The Amistad incident in which enslaved Africans capture their slave ship but are subsequently captured, jailed and held as property until a Supreme Court case rules that they are not property. Many New England Congregationalists come to their defense and they are ultimately set free. This incident helps to galvanize the anti-slavery movement. 

1853 – Antionette Brown becomes the first woman since the founding of the church to be ordained as a Christian minster and perhaps the first to be elected to a Christian congregation as pastor.

1957 – The Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church merge to become the United Church of Christ, combining a variety of ethnic, racial and spiritual traditions in response to Jesus’ prayer, “that they may all be one.”

1972 – The Golden Gate Association becomes the first historic Protestant church body to ordain an openly gay minister, the Rev. William R. Johnson. 

1976 – The UCC becomes the first racially integrated denomination in the U.S. to elect an African American, Rev. Joseph H. Evans, as its president. 

1995 – The UCC becomes the only Christian denomination to publish a hymnal that uses both male and female imagery to honor God. While the poetry is contemporary, the theology is traditional. 

2005 – The General Synod overwhelmingly passes a resolution affirming same gender marriage.