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Famous Congregationalists
and members of the United Church of Christ (UCC)


Related pages:
- Congregationalist Science Fiction Writers
- Names of Congregationalist Politicians
- Largest United Church of Christ Communities

Related websites:
- Political Graveyard: Congregationalist Politicians
- Wiki: Category: Congregationalists
- NNDB.com: Religion: Congregationalist


Congregationalist
Founding Fathers

Congregationalist Signers of
the Declaration of Independence:

Samuel Huntington - Connecticut
Roger Sherman - Connecticut
William Williams - Connecticut
Oliver Wolcott - Connecticut
Lyman Hall - Georgia
Button Gwinnett - Georgia
Samuel Adams - Massachusetts
John Hancock - Massachusetts
Robert Treat Paine - Massachusetts
John Adams - Massachusetts
Josiah Bartlett - New Hampshire
William Whipple - New Hampshire
William Ellery - Rhode Island

Congregationalist Signers of
the Articles of Confederation:

Samuel Huntington - Connecticut
Roger Sherman - Connecticut
Oliver Wolcott - Connecticut
Andrew Adams - Connecticut
Samuel Adams - Massachusetts
John Hancock - Massachusetts
Josiah Bartlett - New Hampshire
Richard Hutson - South Carolina
William Ellery - Rhode Island

Congregationalist Signers of
the U.S. Constitution:

Roger Sherman - Connecticut
Abraham Baldwin - Georgia
Nathaniel Gorham - Massachusetts
John Langdon - New Hampshire
Nicholas Gilman - New Hampshire

Congregationalist Non-Signing Delegates
at the Constitutional Constitution:

Oliver Ellsworth - Connecticut
Caleb Strong - Massachusetts

Congregationalist Representatives in
First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791):

Abiel Foster - New Hampshire
Nicholas Gilman - New Hampshire
Benjamin Huntington - Connecticut
James Jackson - Georgia
Abraham Baldwin - Georgia
Roger Sherman - Connecticut
Jeremiah Wadsworth - Connecticut

Congregationalist Senators in
First U.S. Federal Congress (1789-1791):

Oliver Ellsworth - Connecticut
John Langdon - New Hampshire
Paine Wingate - New Hampshire
Caleb Strong - Massachusetts

Congregationalism was the predominant religious denomination throughout much of New England during Colonial times and the 1800s. In 1776, over 12% of Maine residents, 13% of New Hampshire residents, 13% of Connecticut residents, and 16% of Massachusetts residents were Congregationalists. Congregationalism was one of America's "mainstream" Protestant denominations. There was a period of over one hundred years during which divisions and schisms split the denomination into separate Congregationalist religious bodies. Then in the 1900s there was a period of reconcilliation and mergers between many of these bodies (and some other liberal denominations which had not previously been Congregationalist). Eventually these mergers culminated in the consolidation of most U.S. Congregationalist groups, forming the United Church of Christ in 1957.

Today members of the United Church of Christ (and others who identify themselves as Congregationalists) comprise less than 1 percent (0.7%, ARIS/Kosmin, 2001) of the U.S. population. Even during the 1700s and 1800s Congregationalism tended to be ecumenical. Nevertheless, Congregationalists during this time often had a strong feeling of denominational identity and many were devout adherents of Congregationalism. Today many members of the United Church of Christ continue think of themselves using the previous denominational name "Congregationalist," particularly if their ancestors were Congregationalists. Many other members of the United Church of Christ have no such legacy denominational self-identity. It is inadvisable to refer to individuals who lived and died as Congregationalists prior to the 1950s as "members of the United Church of Christ." This was never a name they applied to themselves. Furthermore, the United Church of Christ today has positioned itself as one of America's most "liberal" or "progressive" denominations. This denomination would in many ways be unrecognizable to the relatively conservative (sometimes even Puritanical) Congregationalists of the 1700s and 1800s.

Film and Television:
- Walt Disney - pioneer animator, filmmaker, amusement park builder
- William Holden - actor, movie star
- Wendell Corey - American film actor
- Lyn Harding - prominent Welsh actor whose roles include "Professor Moriarty" in "Sherlock Holmes" films

Literature:
- Harriet Beecher Stowe - author of Uncle Tom's Cabin
- Thornton Wilder - author during 1900s; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; etc.
- Mervyn Peake - science fiction writer, poet, artist (son of a Congregational missionary doctor)
- John Milton - author of the influential Protestant novel Paradise Lost and non-fiction such as Areopagitica
- Connie Willis - acclaimed science fiction writer
- Theodore Dreiser - influential 20th Century author; wrote An American Tragedy (convert)
- Ernest Hemingway - influential American novelist, short story writer (convert to Catholicism)
- Alex Ross - comic book artist, painter
- George Bancroft - historian

Science and Invention:
- Thomas Edison - inventor
- Charles Hard Townes - Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the maser (UCC)

Religious Leaders:
- John Cotton - father of Congregationalism in America
- Cotton Mather - influential religious leader in early 1700s America
- Timothy Dwight - reorganized divinity school at Yale University, later president of Yale
- Mary Baker Eddy - founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, i.e., Christian Science (former Congregationalist)

Activists:
- John Howard - prison reformer
- John Brown - led the raid on Harper's Ferry - an uprising of black slaves attempting to revolt against slavery
- Lewis Tappan - important American merchant and abolitionist

Hymn Writers:
- Isaac Watts - hymn writer, educator during 1700s
- Phillip Doddridge - hymn writer, scholar

Politics:
- John Adams - 2nd U.S. President (raised Congregationalist; became Unitarian)
- Calvin Coolidge - U.S. President
- Hubert Humphrey - Vice-President under Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson
- Henry Wilson - Vice-President under Pres. Grant
- Robert Hawke - Prime Minister of Australia (1983-91)
- Malcolm Baldrige - US Secretary of Commerce (1981-87)
- James G. Blaine - was U.S. Secretary of State twice
- Togiola Tulafono - governor of American Samoa
- Andrew Young - second black mayor of Atlanta
- Howard Dean - Vermont Governor; unsuccessfully campaigned to be Democratic candidate for U.S. Pres.; famous for campaign scream; Democratic Party Chairman (UCC)
- Scott Chronister - Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 19th District in 1996 (UCC)
- Robert Reed Kelley - Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado's 3rd District in 1998 (UCC)
- Troy A. Brechler - Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 3rd District in 1998 (UCC)

U.S. Senators:
- Barack Obama - U.S. Senator, Illinois (UCC; popular black Senator)
- Jon Corzine - U.S. Senator, (D) New Jersey (UCC)
- Max Baucus - U.S. Senator, (D) Montana (UCC)
- Daniel Akaka - U.S. Senator, (D) Hawaii
- Judd Gregg - U.S. Senator, (R) New Hampshire
- Bob Graham - U.S. Senator, Florida (UCC)
- Arthur Vandenberg - U.S. Senator, Michigan (1928-51)
- Wallace H. White, Jr. - U.S. Senator, Maine (1931-49)
- James Jeffords - U.S. Senator, (Independent) Vermont
- Warren R. Austin - U.S. Senator, Vermont (1931-46)

U.S. Representatives:
- Patricia Schroeder - 12-term Representative from Colorado; Pat Schroeder was the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Ron Klink - U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania (1993-2000); left House to run for Senate seat (UCC)
- Nick Smith - U.S. Rep., Michigan 7th District (1993-2005)
- Thelma Drake - U.S. Rep., Virginia 2nd District

Law:
- Oliver Ellsworth - U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1796-1800); also a delegate at Constitutional Convention and Senator in 1st U.S. Congress

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Web page created 29 April 2005. Last modified 19 April 2007.
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