Who is the UCC: A Brief Conference History
The Conference is more than a mere network of local congregations; it is the corporate (bodily) presence of the United Church of Christ in Southern California and Nevada. The community of God's people called the Conference can be understood as a"charismatic" (Spirit-filled) and "messianic" (Christ-centered) community, called and equipped to participate in God's mission of bringing about the fulfillment of God's rule.
The Conference's origins date back to May 3, 1887, when The Rev. James T. Ford, pastor of one of the original Southern California Congregational Churches (in San Bernardino), brought together a district association of 26 churches with a combined membership of 1,009. The Southern California Conference was formally incorporated in 1908.
Sixty years later, the United Church of Christ kept the term "Conference" for its regional administrative bodies, reinforcing the ideas of freely chosen (rather than dictated) association and mutual (rather than hierarchical) connections with other denominational bodies. Like our spiritual forebears, we yearn today for connection with others who are like-minded yet free to disagree.
--Adapted from We Got There from Here, by Mary Alice and Vance Geier