As members of the United Church of Christ we have a shared history with four different groups of Protestant churches: Evangelical, Congregational, Christian churches, andReformed.
When Iowa was settled Circuit Rider Rev. Severing and Rev. Becker began Sunday services in the Tripoli Public Schoolhouse. In 1880 they organized and naming their church “The St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church of Tripoli, Bremer County, Iowa”. Rev. Foerster was the first resident pastor. St Peter's Church served the congregation for 28 years.
In 1869 a Baptist Church was organized in Tripoli by Rev. Eastman Kelsey. He held services and Sunday School in the school house. In 1881 they built a small church. They desiring to be more independent and adopted the doctrines of the Congregational Church and granted a charter in 1901 to became the First Congregational Church.
The Christian Churches were most uniquely American in origin and character. They wanted the frontier churches to be freed to deal with the needs and concerns that were different from those of the more established European churches. They declared that the Bible was their only guide and adopted as their new name, the Christian Church
In 1907 St. Peter's, under the guidence of Rev. Schueter, built a new church and parsonage. Unfortunately Rev. Schueter was attacked by his own cow and died before he could enjoy the comforts of his new home.
In 1934, nationally, the Evangelical Synod of North America and the Reformed church of North America merged and became known as the Evangelical and Reformed Church
In 1957, nationally, the Christian denomination joined with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to become the United Church of Christ, so, in 1962 The First Congregational Church and St. Peters Evangelical and Reformed Church merged to become Faith United Church of Christ in Tripoli under the leaderships of Rev. E. F. Puhlmann with a combined memberships of approximately 700.
In June of 1966 the Faith Educational unit was dedicated. The bell in front is from the First Congregational Church.
In November 1979 Dr. Wm. Imes, Pastor, smiled while Council President, Dennis Kirchhoff and Council Chairman, Jerry Snelling lifted the cornerston into place.
The new enterway: Started August 1979 Completed December 1979
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
As members of the United Church of Christ denomination, we have a shared history
with four different denominations – Evangelical, Reformed, Congregational, and
Our history includes the congregation of St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church of
Tripoli, the first church built in the township. Organized in 1868, the first resident pastor
– Rev. Foerster – was called in 1882. In 1907, under the guidance of Rev. Schueter,
St. Peter’s built a new church and parsonage. Unfortunately, Rev. Schueter was
attacked by his own cow and died before he could enjoy the comforts of his new home.
In 1869, a Baptist church was organized in Tripoli by Rev. Eastman Kelsey. Services
and Sunday School were held in the town schoolhouse. In 1981, the congregation built
a small church in which to meet. By 1900, the congregation desired to be more self-
governing and adopted the doctrines of the Congregational Church. For many years,
morning and evening services were held every Sunday at First Congregational Church
as well as a mid-week prayer meeting.
As the national Evangelical Church and the Reformed Church adopted the 1938
constitution that brought them together as the Evangelical and Reformed Church, St.
Peters in Tripoli updated its name to reflect the change.
In 1931, the Congregational and Christian churches began their church union. While the
name of Tripoli’s First Congregational Church remained, the union created in them even
more activity and awareness of the increased social action found within the
membership of the Congregational Christian denomination.
On Tuesday, June 25,1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church, 23 years old,
passionate in its impulse to unity, committed to "liberty of conscience inherent in the
Gospel," and the Congregational Christian Church, 26 years old, a fellowship of biblical
people under a mutual covenant for responsible freedom in Christ, joined together as
the United Church of Christ. The new church embodied the essence of both “parents”,
and two million members joined hands.
In November 2, 1961, councils from St. Peter’s and First Congregational met to draft a
recommendation to be read before each congregation. On November 19, 1961, the
both congregations voted to adopt the resolution of the merger. Rev. E.F. Puhlmann
from St. Peter’s was asked to serve the newly-formed congregation. In September
1961, a new constitution was adopted and Clarence Kimbal, director of the adult choir,
submitted the name Faith United church of Christ. The name was approved
Moving in together was quite a task but members from both congregations worked
faithfully to keep the transition smooth. Some pews, an altar, and other memorable
items were moved from First Congregational to their new home of Faith United Church
of Christ (the St. Peter’s building).
A Faith UCC new educational wing was dedicated in October 1966. The bell from the
Congregational Church was placed on the south side of the ed wing. In 1979, the front
steps of the church were demolished and work began on a new, enclosed front narthex.
The kitchen was remodeled in 1999. Also that year the connector between the main
structure and the education wing was built.
Recognizing the need to provide accessibility for all, in 2011 the congregation voted to
build an enclosed lift that provided access to the Sanctuary, Narthex, and Fellowship
Hall. As a part of the project, the small restrooms in Fellowship Hall were replaced with
two larger accessible restrooms.
Faith United Church of Christ is proud of its heritage not only as a UCC congregation
but also those ancestors who led by faith through the denominational mergers. In 1957
the original emblem of the United Church of Christ was selected and includes Jesus’
words from the Gospel according to John – “That they may all be one.” (John 17:21). At
Faith United Church of Christ, we continue to move through our days seeking to fulfill