History & Tradition

Pilgrim’s Beginning

First Church SiteBuilding Photo

The United Church of Christ, of which Pilgrim is a part, began in 1957 when the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church merged into one.  As a people, we find our spiritual beginnings much earlier with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation in 1620, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, and the congregations founded by German settlers in Pennsylvania beginning in 1725.  Ours is a tradition descended from courageous reformers who sought freedom from state-sponsored religion, believing that nothing should come between God and the congregation.

In 1959, six families met to discuss the beginnings of a new church to serve the Gallatin Valley and Montana State University.  Two years later on February 19, 1961,  61 people signed the covenant which created The Pilgrim Congregationalmedia-192750 Church of Bozeman and its affiliation with the United Church of Christ.  Today that number exceeds 260 families and individuals, but the spirit of newness, vitality, and possibility that inspired our founders is still present.  In keeping with the Congregational way, we govern ourselves democratically, deciding asGroundDedication_corr a congregation how to structure our church and seeking to include all who wish to worship with us.  Pilgrim is an active member of the Montana Northern Wyoming Partnership Ministries.