United Church of Christ of Atlantic, Iowa is over 50 years old, but its roots go back over 150 years and is the result of several merged congregations over that 150 year history.
The Congregational Church was formed in Atlantic by eight persons on April 10, 1869. The Evangelical Church was founded by twenty-six men of German descent in 1887. The name was changed to Peace Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1934. In 1958 these two churches merged to become the Atlantic Federated Church and in 1960 became known as Trinity United Church of Christ. In 1964 they took a leap of faith and bought 3.5 acres of land at 16th and Hazel so they could build a new church. They moved in on November 7, 1965.
In September of 1969 The First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, merged with Trinity United and changed the name to United Church of Christ of Atlantic, Iowa. Both pastors were retained and took turns preaching, but eventually decided it would be best if they both left and by December of 1970 both moved into new ministries.
Rev. Claude Wood came August 1, 1971 and the church began to heal and grow together. Each of the churches had traditions and some were quite different. Compromises were needed to make it work and communion and baptisms/conformations were major ones. We still use those compromises to this day. Communion is served on the first Sunday of each month and on some holidays. Babies may be baptized by sprinkling and then confirmed at the age of consent or parents may choose to dedicate the baby and then have confirmation at the age of consent followed by acceptance and baptism (sprinkled or immersed). Trinity United did not have a baptistery, but one was added.
UCC, Atlantic became known as the “Church on the Hill.” The bell that calls us to church each Sunday is the same bell the Congregational Church first rang shortly after New Year’s Day in 1870.