The United Church of Christ was born on June 25, 1957 out of a combination of four groups. Two of these were the Congregational Churches of the English Reformation with Puritan New England roots in America (MCC’s tradition), and the Christian Church with American frontier beginnings. These two denominations were concerned for freedom of religious expression and local autonomy and united on June 17, 1931 to become the Congregational Christian Churches.
The other two denominations were the Evangelical Synod of North America, a 19th-century German-American church of the frontier Mississippi Valley, and the Reformed Church in the United States, initially composed of early 18th-century churches in Pennsylvania and neighboring colonies. The parent churches were of German and Swiss heritage, carriers of the Reformed and Lutheran traditions of the Reformation, united to form the Evangelical & Reformed Church on June 26, 1934.
The Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches shared a strong commitment under Christ to the freedom of religious expression. The merger created a church that combined strong European ties, early colonial roots, and the vitality of the American frontier church.
The free congregational tradition was strengthened by one that remained faithful to the liturgical tradition – and – A tradition that maintained important aspects of European Protestantism was broadened by one that embraced diversity and freedom. All found their authority in the Bible and were more concerned with what unites Christians than with what divides them and so became a united (and uniting) church.