Open and Affirming
First Churches has been a forerunner in welcoming LGBTQ+ people into the life of the church. In 1996, the congregation went through a year-long study process and voted to officially be a welcoming congregation to all people, no exceptions! To us this means much more than hanging a rainbow flag and sign that says “All Are Welcome!” We work to make our worship language, leadership structures, pastoral care and advocacy to be inclusive as well.
For more info on the Open and Affirming movement with the UCC, visit openandaffirming.org
First Churches of Northampton is the large stone Gothic church at the center of our city with doors opening onto Main St. We are a united church of the American Baptist Churches USA and United Church of Christ, and our history is as old as the history of Northampton. We are an open and affirming congregation, and we seek to extend God's extravagant welcome as we walk in the way of Jesus and invite all to worship with us, without regard to differences such as race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, ability, sexual orientation, economic status, marital status, level of education, or any other difference that may be misunderstood as a barrier to Christian fellowship.
We worship together on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am, with child care and Sunday School classes available during the academic year. Our meeting house is accessible with the ramp entrance on the Center Street side of the building. Beyond Sunday morning, we host a diverse array of both private and public events including twelve-step groups, political action gatherings, musical and theatre performances, yoga classes, weddings, and more.
Our church family believes that First Churches is one of the best things about living in the Pioneer Valley.
We hope you will, too!
About First Churches
An Open and Affirming Church in the Heart of Northampton
The history of First Churches is as old as the history of Northampton. There have been five Meetinghouses since the First Meetinghouse for The First Church of Christ in Northampton was built in 1654, the year Northampton was settled by English Puritans. Pastor Jonathan Edwards, known as one of the greatest and most profound American theologians and revivalists, preached in the Second Meetinghouse....
READ MORE about First Churches' History.
The Third Meetinghouse, 1737, Courtesy of Forbes Library Northampton, MA