FIRST CHRISTIAN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST is a small but vital congregation of faith. As with many other traditional denominations, we have seen our congregation age and our numbers dwindle. However, we believe that God has much more in store for our church. We are not ready to end our work!
We are a friendly congregation who think of each other as family members, and we welcome visitors as if they were part of our family. As with any family, we love and support each other, feed each other, and sometimes argue with each other, but always in a spirit of love. We are comfortable with a diversity of ideas. We support those who have doubts and questions about faith. With the Holy Bible as our guide, we also recognize that “God is still speaking” to us through the Holy Spirit as we move along in our journey of faith.
If you are looking for a church where everyone will know your name, this is the church. First Christian UCC financially supports a large number of missions, locally and world-wide. We serve others in any way that we can because we are aware of the many blessings that God has provided us and we wish to model Jesus in his service to others.
Deborah Suess & Tim Jackson
Deborah Suess and Tim Jackson joyfully joined the staff at First Christian in October of 2019 as Interim Ministers. Partnering with others - they will provide pastoral care, worship leadership, and assist in church administration.
Tim and Deborah were raised in the Midwest but moved to North Carolina in 2004 to offer ministry among the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). In 2018 they completed training in Intentional Interim Ministry through the Center for Congregational Health and are excited to serve ecumenically. They are particularly interested in ministering among UCC congregations with its emphasis on welcome, inclusivity and the understanding that God is still speaking to us today. It is their hope to listen well to how the Spirit may be speaking and leading!
Are you visiting this website because you are thinking about visiting First Christian for the first time? If so, please feel free to be in touch with either of us if you have any questions. We know sometimes it takes some courage to visit a new church, so please know you will be welcomed. If you are a long term member or attender of this congregation, we also would love to hear from you.
Joan G. Paschal is native of Snow Camp, North Carolina. After moving to numerous cities in North Carolina and Tennessee, Joan made her home back in Snow Camp, NC where she and her sister, Jackie Garrison have a home on family land. She retired from Alamance Regional Medical Center after 27 years of service in three different secretarial positions. She is a graduate of Southern Alamance High School in 1975. Joan joined the team at First Christian in August of 2008. She is the mother of a one son, Robert, who resides in Elon with his wife, Sara, and sons, Ian and Brendon. Much of Joan’s time is spend helping and caring for her aging mother, who resides directly beside her. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, teaching Sunday School and doing volunteer work for her church, spending time with family, friends, and cats Benson, Mocha, Remington and Steele Blue.
Matt Rice is a native of a small town northeast of Pittsburgh, PA and has been living in North Carolina since 1997. He received his Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He majored on tuba and minored in voice and organ. In 2002, he received his Masters in Music Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Matt then received his Masters of School Administration from North Carolina State University in 2006 and worked as an assistant principal in Raleigh, NC. He also studied in Bulgaria under the supervision of Russian, French and Bulgarian choral conducting instructors. Matt has performed in multiple venues across the United States, Canada and Europe. He has played tuba with the Triangle Wind Ensemble, the Cape Fear Regional Band and the Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corp. He served as the tenor soloist during a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Matt was the interim organist for Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Roxboro, NC for two 6-month periods. Matt enjoys traveling, photography and being with friends and family. He also holds a private pilot's license. Currently, he is the Assistant Principal at Reidsville High School and is a member of the ACDA, NCMEA and AOPA.
Connie Edward Collins is a native of Alamance County and Burlington, N.C. She is a graduate of Southern Alamance High School and Alamance Community College with A.A.S. degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. Her entire career has been in some aspect of accounting. Connie has been employed at First Christian UCC for nearly 15 years.
She loves working in a church environment where she can freely express her Christian faith and display her collection of Christian items. Connie has been married for 33 years to Tim Collins, and they have one daughter, Cheyenne. Connie’s interests include spending time with family and friends, reading, playing games, music, singing, movies, going to the beach, traveling and most importantly spending time with God. Her life verse comes from Jeremiah 29::11 NIV.
Rodney D. Paul Sr. currently serves First Christian UCC as our reliable and punctilious custodial professional. For more than 25 years, he and his family have diligently maintained the First Christian UCC premises. Rodney has been married to his lovely wife, Tina G. Paul, for 32 years. He and his wife have three wonderful children, Lativia, Rodney and Dante. Rodney is also the proud “Paw Paw” to his granddaughter, Madison. He is a pleasure to have here at First Christian UCC and we are pleased to have him as a part of our church family.
ALL the people of the church
Our church has the oldest Christian congregation in Burlington, NC. In 1884, Burlington was called Company Shops. It was so called because the railroad needed a maintenance shop for its trains and tracks near the county seat of Graham. The law stated that the maintenance yard had to be a certain distance from the Courthouse. As the settlement grew, the railroad saw the need for a place of worship for the men and women who had come to live there. So they built Union Church, the only church the railroad ever built. All denominations used it. From 1884 to 1893 the early members of First Christian Church worshiped there. On February 18, 1884, a group of 18 people came together and signed a statement of principles marking the formal organization of the church. They continued to meet at Union Church. Then in October 1890, they decided to build their own church. A year passed while they collected money to start construction. In September 1891 they started to build on a lot donated by B. A. Sellars. In December 1893, their church was dedicated. For the next 27 years the congregation worshiped in their building on the southeast corner of Church and Davis Streets. When the congregation outgrew their building, they began raising money for a new church. In 1920, the new church building was dedicated. With the ranks of steep steps leading up to massive columns and four main front doors coupled with the dome, our church reminds one of early Greek and Roman architecture. Our church is the only one in town with main entrances on what were originally the two main roads into and out of Burlington. Besides the dome, we take a lot of pride in and pleasure from the six Italian crafted stained glass windows which depict favorite Bible stories. They are over 88 years old and valued at over 1 million dollars. Our doors are open to everyone. If you find the steps daunting, we have an elevator accessible from the parking lot, through the breezeway.
United Church of Christ
Statement of Faith
We believe in You, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ, and our God, and to Your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in Your own image, and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by Your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, You have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us Your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into Your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be Your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at His table, to jin Him in His passions and victory.
You promise to all who trust You forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, Your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in Your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor,
glory and power be unto You.
First Christian United Church of Christ believes God is still speaking and we are committed to the light and vision God shares. We continue to look towards the future with enthusiasm and energy as we work to fulfill our purpose in God’s world. We are dedicated to exploring what it means to be a progressive church community. We continue to faithfully covenant with the United Church of Christ and to be faithful in missions, evangelism, worship, and prayer. But most importantly, First Christian UCC’s community of faith continues to stop, look, and listen for God’s voice.