The Church of Christ at Dartmouth College welcomes you to join us in prayer, worship, and service. We encourage you to enrich your Christian faith by exploring and participating in the varied programs and ministries of this congregation. Our purpose, declared in our bylaws, is to "show forth the love of God in the world through worship and service." In worship we remember with thanksgiving and rejoicing that by God's grace we have been made, and called, to be God's children. In service, to one another and to those beyond this congregation everywhere, we seek to be the persons God has called us to be in Jesus Christ.
We invite you to share this pilgrimage with us.
Our church was gathered in 1771, by the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, who had founded Dartmouth College less than two years before. In the tradition of many churches in Colonial America, Wheelock was simultaneously president of Dartmouth College and pastor of the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College The first members of our church were students and faculty from the college. In Wheelock's words, the founding of the church "was kept as a day of solemn fasting and prayer, on which I gathered a church in this college, and school, which consisted of twenty-seven members."
Our Christian Identity
This church is a congregation of the United Church of Christ, a denomination formed in 1957 by the union of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed church.
When our church was gathered in 1771, we were a Congregational church. Shortly thereafter, we became a Presbyterian church for a period of approximately 30 years. We became a Congregational church again until 1957, when a unanimous vote of the membership declared us to be a member congregation of the newly formed United Church of Christ.
Today our members come from a rich variety of denominational backgrounds and thus enhance the diversity we share in our unity in the body of Jesus Christ.
We share in the United Church of Christ's work through our local Grafton-Orange Association, the New Hampshire Conference of the UCC, and the national General Synod. Ecumenically, we are members of the local clergy association, the New Hampshire Council of Churches, and the National and World Councils of Churches.
Our Purpose and Ministry
The purpose of our congregation, as stated in our bylaws, "is to show forth the love of God in the world through worship and service." The ministry of this congregation is "the responsibility of all its members, individually and collectively, as each and all strive to embody the love of God within the human community."
As an open and inviting church, we seek to share with all people the essence of our Christian heritage. Through worship, music, education, fellowship, and service we are dedicated to creating an environment where a living faith in Jesus Christ can grow and be strengthened.
Because we believe that all church members are ministers, we strive to do God's work in the world, relying on God's grace. Locally, we support a food depot, help with community dinners, organize special offerings, and respond to a variety of needs as they arise. As a congregation of the United Church of Christ, we support the work of our homeland and world ministries through our financial contribution to Our Church's Wider Mission.
Our Programs and Mission
The congregation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, exercises full authority in the governance of its collective life. Meetings of the congregation are held twice a year to vote on program, mission, and financial issues. The church membership elects a board of elders and officers to provide overall leadership in its life as a community of faith. Boards of deacons are also elected by the congregation to oversee the specific programs and missions of the church. These people, working in cooperation with the church staff and with the help of many volunteers, carry out the work of the church in the following areas.