Our community was founded in 1839 as a Presbyterian congregation but in 1849 the governance was changed to Congregational. The first church building, the Platteville Academy, is still standing at the corner of Bonson and Cedar Streets. The Platteville Academy developed into the Normal School and eventually University of Wisconsin, Platteville. In 1845 the church bought two lots for $110.00 facing City Park, where the current church now stands. The current building was constructed in 1869 using bricks from the small church which preceded it on that site. We celebrated our 175th anniversary August 17, 2014.
The architectural styles are Romanesque with arched windows and doors and Gothic revival with tall tower and steeple. The same architect designed Trinity Episcopal Church just a few buildings down at 210 Market Street. In 1985, First Congregational UCC Church of Platteville was listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the Secretary of the Interior and we have a continuing effort to keep our historic building in good condition.
In 1957 the United Church of Christ was officially formed through the union of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches.
We are proud of our rich heritage of involvement in social justice issues.
– In 1849 we passed a resolution to abolish slavery.
– In 1866, Sarah Buck, a teacher of Reading at the Normal School, was the first woman to preach from our pulpit.
– In the 1980s the congregation voted to oppose use of nuclear weapons.
-In 2008 the congregation voted to become an Open and Affirming Congregation, making explicit our welcome of all people and especially affirming the LGBTQ community.
Influenced by this history, we continue to reach out to the community. In 1923, First Congregational yoked with Mt. Zion, in Cornelia. In 2017, we added Davies Memorial in Potosi forming the UCC Ministry Co-op of Southwest Wisconsin. We are a founding congregation in Family Promise of Grant County. In cooperation with the Homeless Task Force we host a transitional homeless shelter on our property. Members of our community are active volunteers with the Thrift Shop, Food Pantry, and area senior center. In our quest for a more just and generous world, we continually invite the wider community to our educational endeavors, covering topics from Bible studies to justice issues including white privilege, systemic racism, immigration experiences in Wisconsin, and environmental preservation.