In 1881, the Baptist Home Mission Society, located in Chicago, sent Rev. George Prescott to Sturgeon Bay at the request of a local woman, Mary Ann Schuyler, who wanted to start a church. Initially the local town hall was used for church services and as the parsonage. In order to unite the small congregation, in 1883 Rev. Prescott suggested that Hope UCC change denominations to become a Congregational Church. Their first church building was built at the corner of 4th and Louisiana streets and was occupied from 1888-1965. Hope Congregational Church became Hope United Church of Christ in 1961. A new church building , at the corner of 12th and Michigan, was planned, built, and first occupied in 1968, At Christmastime in 1987, a Dobson Pipe organ, especially designed to fit the modern architecture of the sanctuary, was installed and dedicated. A “Hp[e for the Future” celebration was held in 1996 at the conclusion of a major building remodeling project and addition of our fellowship hall with new kitchen and bathrooms. The organ enhances our wonderful music program and the fellowship Hall is oftern occupied with activities of church members and others.
Growth and Change
Today there still exists a strong sense of community within Hope’s family and a spirt of service and helpfulness. Over the years, ministers have come and gone (one staying as long as 27 years), memberships numbers risen and fallen (52 members in 1903 and 241 in 1952) but social justice, activism, and music have remained important parts of the Hope UCC community. The Mission and Action Committee actively reflects Hope’s custom of supporting mission causes, local and beyond, ad a UCC Five for Five Church. Hope UCC was started by a woman with an idea; our first woman moderator was elected in 1975. In 2001, Hope became an Open and Affirming Church by congregational vote. Our building has served our community as well, used by many community organizations–from Breakfast Rotary to Midsummer Music, to Literacy Door County and art groups, to HELP of Door County, from NAMI to AA to Al-Anon, from Youth Groups enjoying dinners together to Parenting Groups and Semi-Annual Rummage Sales.
Who We Are
The ties that bind us together mirror our love for Hope UCC where we strive to be a safe place in which each individual is encouraged to walk his or her own path, to express what is in his or her heart. Many of Hope’s members and friends have come from other religious affiliations to find a spiritual home in Hope UCC. Whether spiritual home, oasis, or safe haven, Hope is central to our journey of spiritual discovery. We invite and celebrate a unique blend of traditional and non-traditional, albeit Christian-based and referenced religious teaching; we encourage openness of thought, theology, and acceptance. Hope UCC is a caring community with a progressive tradition.