Our Story

Our local story

Early days

       Union Congregational United Church of Christ is located in northern Lake County, Florida, a 45 minute drive north and slightly west of Orlando.  Our congregation goes back to 1885. Our sanctuary, which was built on land donated by the founder of the city of Tavares, Major Alexander H. St. Clair Abrams, became our place of worship in 1888.  Since it was the first church in Tavares it hosted all of the people of Tavares who gathered for worship.  It served in that capacity until 1913 when the Baptist members formed their own church.  The Methodist members remained until doing the same in 1923.

      The layout inside our sanctuary, which is in the shape of a cross, has a seating capacity for 235 worshippers and an overflow for 20 additional,  is air-conditioned, handicap accessible, and has comfortable cushioned pews.   

      Since 1960 our fellowship hall has been the gathering place for thousands of groups and events.  Our education/office wing opened in 1984.  Then in 1998 we opened the doors of our bustling on-site community centered Thrift house.

      We have expressed our faith through a variety of traditions over the years and our congregation continues to be active and vital and dedicated to the mission of living out the call of the Gospel to serve, accept, and care for all of God's children, wherever they may be.

      We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

Our denominational story

Church of Firsts

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.

Extravagant Welcome

Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.