What We Believe
The following excerpt is taken from the United Church of Christ Who We Are, What We Believe
(copyright 1980 United Church Press)
As stated in the preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ,
The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession. It looks to the Word of God in scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in this world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion.
The original members of the Burton Congregational Church came here with Burton’s first settlers from Cheshire, Connecticut. They soon formed a Congregational Church, that is, one governed by the local congregation, the type of church they had inherited from their Pilgrim ancestors. Our Church calls its own minister and then elects a moderator and a church council who, together with the minister, conduct the affairs of the congregation. We are part of the Western Reserve Association and the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ and value their assistance and guidance, but all decisions about the congregation’s life are made locally. The members of the church come from many different backgrounds: former Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, and persons of still other Christian backgrounds who have joined us to worship and to carry out our Lord’s prayer “that they may all be one.”
The Burton Congregational Church was organized in 1808 and met in several nearby locations before our present building was erected in 1836 at a cost of $4,000. It was originally located within the park directly opposite where it stands today, but was moved to its present location in 1850. The steeple, rising 104 feet from the ground, crowned the roof in 1875. The church building was frequently used as a public hall and for many years was also used as the main hall for the Agricultural Fair, the forerunner of the Great Geauga County Fair. A former architect referred to the church as “Steamboat Gothic” because of its unusual appearance, but to its membership and friends it is just a beautiful place to worship God.