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Our History

Faith United Church of Christ is the direct descendent of St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Boston Community Church.  Our roots in Boston Valley go back to 1834. Faith United Church of Christ was established in 1960, three years after the formation of the United Church of Christ as a denomination. Our church was formed from two antecedent church bodies, the Boston Community Christian Church and St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church.

In June of 1952, Rev. Richard Whitney, fresh from the Lancaster Theological Seminary, was sent to assume the pastoral duties of St. Paul’s.  With Rev. Whitney’s leadership and the growth in the town, St. Paul’s was able to gain financial independence in 1957.  During this time the Boston Community Church did not have a full time pastor and the growing membership realized the need for one to oversee Sunday School and other church organizations.  In 1957 the Cooperative Parish was organized with six members from each congregation on the committee.  Pastor Whitney preached at both churches and efforts were made to consolidate as many activities as possible.  A basis of union was approved by both churches on January 10, 1960; a uniting service was held at the Boston Fire Hall on March 13, 1960, and Faith Church was established. 

In July 1960, six acres of land was purchased for a church, parsonage, and large parking lot with room for growth.  Soon after members began working diligently towards the fulfilment of this mission.

In the spring of 1962 Rev. Whitney moved to Churchville, New York, having completed his task of establishing Faith Church.  

Rev. Charles Zechiel was called in July 1963. The building program moved ahead at a steady pace.  Most of the interior work was donated and performed by members of the church including paint, trim, floor tiles and installation of the pews.  The church building was dedicated on May 22, 1966. 

In 1972 Rev. Gary Burdick was called to be our pastor. During the past thirty-five years Faith Church has grown both spiritually and physically.  The church has become involved with the Dunkirk Conference Center, Love In the Name of Christ, Churches In Action, programs of the South Towns Cluster of UCC Churches and the Crop Walk.  Within the church, Bible studies, laity empowerment opportunities, such as Unwrapping Our Gifts program, and long range planning programs, have deepened our congregation’s faith, involvement and commitment to our Faith community.

Three long range planning sessions, with the most recent taking place in 2000, were held.  The outcome of this Vision 2000 project was to build an addition to accommodate classrooms, an office, a music room and storage area.  Program development was also undertaken.  Two previous sessions produced results including the pastor’s sabbatical, paving the parking lot and building an addition to make our facilities accessible to all people regardless of their physical limitations.  Spiritual education and programs were always addressed during these sessions.

An appreciation of music has been fostered within the congregation.  Rev. Burdick's talent and willingness to share that talent has allowed for a variety of music to be experienced at Faith Church.  Local Christian musicians were occasionally invited to share the Word through their music as the Sunday morning sermon.  A small group, “Voices of Faith” was formed in 2001.

Rev. Burdick retired in September of 2007.  We celebrated and honored his thirty-five years of faithful shepherding.  

Rev. Bonnie Bates was called to serve our congregation in February 2009. She is the first called woman pastor of our church. Since her arrival, the congregation has experienced some change,. We are creating new history, a history that can continue to honor our rich past, but move us to a new level of discipleship in doing the good work God intends for us both locally and globally. Rev. Bates accepted a position in Ohio in February 2014.

Rev. David W. Shoobridge came to us as a Designated Pastor in April 2014

Rev. Richard Diekmann became our full time minister on September 27, 2015.

Rev. Theodore Brelsford came to us as Transitional Pastor in May, 2019.

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