Mount Vernon’s dispute over slavery led to the birth of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in 1834. Its firm abolitionist stance was controversial, and the church continues to advocate for social justice and upholds sometimes unpopular beliefs. As the first church in Knox County open to and affirming of people of all sexual orientations, it maintains a commitment to bringing people together from all backgrounds to worship in a “spirit of community, learning, trust, and love.”

“It’s a meeting place. It’s a social place. It’s a place where people can come together, participate with one another, and touch each other’s lives.” Janet Wacker, member since 1953

“I see our church as a place for those who are spiritually seeking. There’s no judgment. [The church] allows God to speak to everybody in a different way.” Reverend Keith Stuart

“The church connects me to Mount Vernon as a community in a way that nothing else does. When I think about how I’m plugged into Mount Vernon outside of Kenyon, it is the church. It helps me feel grounded in a different way to this place.” Jené Schoenfeld, member since 2008

Founded in 1834, the church did not move to its present location until 1868. In 1916 the church removed its steeple, which had been struck by lightning several times. Courtesy First Congregational United Church of Christ 
During the Civil War, the church became a “tailoring shop.” Women made blouses, scrapped lint, and rolled bandages for soldiers. Today, women from different churches come together to quilt for pleasure. Courtesy First Congregational United Church of Christ 
“Every year at Christmas time, probably forty or fifty families will make some of their traditional family cookies.” Beverly Morse, member since 1967. Courtesy First Congregational United Church of Christ 


The annual Spring Fling brings together women of the church for a meal prepared by the men. Here, Joan Cassell celebrates the occasion with her family. Courtesy First Congregational United Church of Christ 
New and familiar faces can be seen congregating together after every Sunday service. Courtesy First Congregational United Church of Christ 
Planted in 1998, the church’s peace pole symbolizes its long-standing commitment to promoting social justice, locally and globally. Courtesy First Congregational United Church of Christ 
  


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