We are an Opening and Affirming Church welcoming all without regards for race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation or physical challenge.
We are A Just Peace Church recognizing that God is calling us to be about the work of bringing justice and making peace in our world,community and ourselves.
Billings First Church (UCC) is a congregation in covenant with the United Church of Christ, a denomination that has forever valued education and has embraced diversity. Our forebears founded Harvard and Yale, what would later become the University of California at Berkeley, and the Pacific School of Religion—including many other fine colleges and universities. We were the first mainstream religious body in the United State to ordain a woman, elect an African American as the head of our church, and ordain an openly gay pastor. We place great emphasis, in other words, on diversity, freedom of conscience in belief, and justice in our mission and other activities. For a more complete listing of other “UCC Firsts,” follow this link to the website for the national church at www.ucc.org.
- First Congregational United Church of Christ is the oldest church in Billings, founded in 1882, following an initial gift of land and building capital given by Frederick Billings of New York, then President of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In fact, the current structure, built in 1957, still sits on the original site across from the Old Chamber Building, City Hall, and the Yellowstone County Courthouse and offices. Our location is a constant reminder that the roots of this congregation were put down in the very heart of the city. The Yellowstone Art Museum and the Billings Gazette also sit across the street from us in the opposite direction, and the Alberta Bair Theater (home to the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Rimrock Opera) is just around the corner.
- Although the United Church of Christ dates to 1957, Congregationalism came to America with the Pilgrims in 1620. This separatist heritage is still seen in that local church government, both spiritual and temporal, is not subject to any other religious or ecclesiastical body. First Church’s Constitution & Bylaws state that ours is a free, independent, and self-governing faith community open to all. Simply put, we are a group of people gathering in Christ’s name and attempting to live out the covenant made with one another for the purpose of worship, education, and mission.
- A united and uniting church resulting from the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches in America and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, the United Church of Christ (UCC) today is comprised of more than 1.5 million members and over 6,000 congregations. As stated, however, unlike most denominations where direction comes from the top down, worship and governance decisions in the UCC are made within the local church.