About

What is a Congregationalist?

We trace our heritage to a band of English Separatists of the 16th century. In the context of the Protestant Reformation, these believers chose to risk life and liberty in order to follow their conscience. They sought to form a church under God's authority alone, not bound by state edict or canon law. For these religious pioneers, freedom of conscience and the autonomy of the local church were guiding principles.

Plymouth Church continues to be guided by such principles. Helen Berkaw, a moderator of our national association, wrote in 1980: "Three of God's gifts I must use to the utmost in the service of His church: the mind to reason, the conscience to be guided, and the heart that I may be loved to love." This is an apt description of our priorities at Plymouth.

We practice a thoughtful Christianity based on the three tenets of Congregationalism: Faith, Freedom, and Fellowship. We are inspired by magnificent music in the context of a traditional worship service. We are committed to providing Christian education for the children and the adults in our congregation. We seek to provide a forum for our members to investigate issues of concern with spiritual growth as our goal. In all of this, we are active in educational, charitable, and community service, starting with the founding, in 1886, of the Fairmount Academy that later became Wichita State University. Currently we provide seminary scholarships as well as mentoring elementary school children, and we are supporting a diverse group of local charities as well as national and international missions with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.

As we look ahead to ministry in the twenty-first century, we are guided by our mission statement: "To create together a place where persons with a variety of beliefs are strengthened and supported in their spiritual growth and ministry."

Every Congregational Church is autonomous - choosing its own form of polity and guiding principles - and is free of a church hierarchy that decrees what to believe. Plymouth members enjoy freedom of conscience and interpretation. We are bound together by Our Church Covenant:

Believing in Jesus Christ, the Interpreter of God to mankind, we accept His teachings as the guiding principles of our lives and consecrate ourselves, and our Church to their fulfillment. We therefore join in covenant, one with another, to worship, work, and serve together that we may express through our Church and our individual lives the love and faith taught by Jesus Christ.

Responsibility (from Constitution, Article II, Section 3)

This church assumes the responsibility for the Christian Education of the entire family, to the end that it shall be dedicated to Christian life and service. This church grants to each person the right to individual interpretation of the principles of the Christian religion, and respects every person's honest religious convictions.

Plymouth Congregational Church is a voluntary, supporting member of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and is a gathered fellowship of Christians in covenant with God and one another, each person being free to interpret the scriptures according to conscience. We are a self-governing local church.