First Congregational Church UCC
Wisconsin Rapids WI

54494-4150



Who we are

Following the example of Jesus Christ, First Congregational Church UCC in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, professes that we are a community of openness, kindness, and support for all people regardless of who they are or where they may be on their faith journey.

We recognize that everyone is a child of God and celebrate the diversity of God's kingdom. We welcome all people regardless of age, physical ability, economic status, sexual orientation or expression, race, gender identity or expression, relationship status, ethnicity, or mental ability.

We encourage all to share in the membership, employment, ministry, and worship experience of our congregation as we seek to grow together in faith and love. With God's grace, First Congregational Church UCC declares itself to be an Open and Affirming community.

Our Mission Statement:

As a church, we strive to Reach Up in our spiritual growth, Reach Out in ministry, and to Reach In on our faith journey.



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Church Address

First Congregational Church UCC
311 Second Street South
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494-4150
United States
Phone: 715-423-0350
Fax: 715-423-5474
Download First Congregational Church UCC vCard with Service Times   Edit

Church Pastor

Pastor Missy Miller
Pastor Missy Miller
Minister
311 Second Street South
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494-4150
United States
Phone: 715-423-0350
Fax: 715-423-5474
Download Minister Pastor Missy Miller vCard with leader Bio   Edit


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Quote of the Day
Matthew 7:12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

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Leadership

Leader Name:
Pastor Missy Miller   Edit
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Minister   Edit
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715-423-5474   Edit
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Pastor Missy has served as the Minister since January of 2017.   Edit
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Administration

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Sharon Heckendorf   Edit
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Church Secretary   Edit
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715-423-5474   Edit
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First Congregational Church UCC - 311 Second Street South, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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First Congregational Church UCC Wisconsin Rapids Service Times

Worship and Sunday School at 9:30 AM

Special services are held on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve. Check "Calendar of Events" for times.

Service Times last updated on the 19th of November, 2019   Edit



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History of First Congregational Church UCC Wisconsin Rapids WI

In the pioneering days when the timber of this area was being cut for lumber, two communities sprang up here on the two sides of the Wisconsin River: Grand Rapids on the east bank and Centralia on the west bank. Traveling evangelists and itinerant preachers visited the frontier communities when possible. At length, in 1856, there were enough interested folk to form a contract with the Rev. Jesse Edwards to preach in Grand Rapids. By 1858, a Congregational Society was formed of those who favored the Baptist-Congregational procedures and they were served by the Rev. Smith.

In March of 1862, the Rev. J. W. Harris was ordained and the Society was formally organized as that organization on March 27, 1862. The group continued to meet in homes and in a local hall for a time. In 1864, the first of the church’s homes was framed. It was completed and dedicated in 1865. The building has remained in existence into recent times, currently as the Christian Science Church on First Street North. Around this time, a parsonage was built across the street from the old Sampson Canning Co. building.

First Congregational Church organized and hosted, in 1869, a lecture by Susan B. Anthony entitled “Women want Bread not Ballot”. There was a fire in this time frame and the church records were lost from 1862 until 1873.

Forty-nine new members were received in 1880. A major flood occurred that year, estimated a century later at about 100,000 cfs. The bridge was weakened from the flood and subsequently destroyed in the flood of 1888. The old kerosene lights in the church were replaced with electric lights in 1886.

The Church basically split into two congregations soon after the flood, one in Centralia, the other in Grand Rapids. The Centralia group met in City Hall. A building fund raised $3724 and a new “Unity Church” was built in the area where the new Centralia Center is in the west side Mall. It later became the Masonic Temple. After three years, the two congregations came together again and met in the west side church.

Rev. Wheeler’s salary appears to have been $800 per year in 1896. After leading a funeral procession riding on a high bicycle, he soon disappeared from the scene, to be replaced by Rev. B. J. H. Shaw. Rev. Shaw was replaced by Rev. Fred Staff in 1905. In 1906, the Church purchased a new parsonage just south of the present Moravian Church. And Rev. Staff’s salary jumped to $1700 per year.

A new stone church located where the present church is was built in 1911. Stories of anguish and politics regarding an east side versus a west side location for the new building may be myth as church records are silent on this subject.

The Church officially became incorporated as the “First Congregational Church of Grand Rapids” about 1913. An interesting event that occurred during this time was the pastor requesting that the ladies all remove their hats during service as “-most spring hats are so large that preacher and pulpit are hidden from view”. The Congregation also suffered through the agony of World War I plus a world wide influenza epidemic during this time. For an entire month there were no church services or public meetings allowed.

Rev. Arthur E. Leonard served at a salary of $3600 per year in 1923. Major refurbishments to the church building were made in 1935. The congregation was now at 600, and the building was already 25 years old. Rev. Hyslop was quite outspoken on the local paper mills running on Sundays and grocery stores also being open on Sundays. World War II came and 136 men and women from our church family joined the service of our country. The end of the war in 1946 brought about $10,000 in capital improvement projects to the church building. Fund raising and construction for a new manse was done in 1956. It was located a couple of blocks north of where Assumption High School is now.

Records show that in 1956 the church was feeling a space pinch. There was considerable discussion and studying regarding the possibility of building a new church building. The church celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 1962. The Education Wing for the new church was built in 1965, and services were held there for six months while the old stone church was torn down and the new structure built. In 1976, a new pipe organ was purchased and installed. About the same time, Wilhelmina and Ray Hall noted a need, and started the Food Pantry program.

Rev. Smith 1856-1862
Rev. J.W. Harris 1862-1868
None 1869
Rev. J.J. Cameron 1870-1870
Rev. E.G. Carpenter 1871-1871
Rev. R.K. Webster 1872-1875
Rev. Lauren M. Foster 1876-1879
Rev. J.S. Norris 1880-1882
Rev. John Rowland 1883-1886
Rev. A.L.P. Loomis 1887-1890
Rev. William Kilbourne 1891-1896
Rev. Fred S. Wheeler 1897-1898
None 1899
Rev. Shaw 1900-1905
Rev. Fred Staff 1910-1910
Rev. Robert J. Locke 1915-1915
Rev. Noel Breed 1920-1920
Rev. J. Merle Stevens 1925-1925
Rev. J.Merle Stevens 1930-1930
Rev. Fred Hyslop 1935-1935
Rev. Robert Kingdon 1940-1968
Rev. Donald Minnick – Associate Minister 1959-1964
Rev. Lyman Newton – Associate Minister 1965-1968
Rev. Cal Fischer 1970-1991
Rev. Gerry Bertsch – Associate Minister 1970-1976
Rev. Ann James 1983-1988
Rev. Doris Ruben 1988-1993
Rev. Jake Close 1991-2001
Rev. Beth Hoffman Faeth 1994-1997
Rev. Beth Middleton Voight 1998-2002
Rev. Wanda & Paul Veldman 2003-2008
Rev. Paul Veldman 2003-2014
Rev. Micah Schlobohm 2014-2016
Rev. Missy Miller 2017-Present   Edit


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The power of Christian prayer "Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
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This page was last updated on the 19th of November, 2019
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