As Evansville grew to the east and German immigrants sought to fit in, Bethel United Church of Christ was born as an off-shoot of Zion Evangelical Church in downtown Evansville. In 1904, we were located in a cornfield; today, that same "cornfield" is considered part of downtown.
During the first half of the 20th century, we grew significantly. We were among the first of the immigrant churches to provide services in English and to encourage women to accept leadership roles. We were known nationally for our creative Christian Education and our encouragement of racial integration. As we grew, we found it necessary to expand our facility; eventually covering the half block bounded by Jefferson, Madison and Garvin Streets. We provided various social and faith services to the immediate community while many of our members commuted from outlying towns.
During the last half of the 20th century, Evansville expanded even further to the east. We, ourselves, became transplants as we relocated - this time to a soybean field. Even today, our growth continues with two additions and a recently completed major renovation.
Always mission directed, Bethel UCC has been instrumental in the establishment of Evansville's Protestant Home, Habitat for Humanity - Evansville, and United Caring Services. We have been involved in hand-on ministry in other parts of the United States as well as overseas. Bethel Pre-School is also part of our ministry. Most recently, we have been chosen as a participant in the Center for Congregations' program, "Engaging Young Adults". We are also exploring joining the "Solarize Evansville" movement.
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a "merger" denomination that brought together the Northeast Congregationalists, Christians from the Southeast, and Midwestern Evangelical & Reformed churches. The UCC is known for its many firsts and we invite you to find out more by visiting www.ucc.org
This is only part of our tale! Our most exciting chapters are still being written by people just like you. We invite you to come and be a part of our story!