“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
BUCC began in 1880 as the German Evangelical Reformed Church of Beavercreek, Mink, Oregon. In 1882, the church incorporated as a non-profit under Oregon law, and a church building was erected in 1883. Minutes from the annual meeting that year showed income of $40.65 and expenses of $42. A special offering was collected at the meeting, which brought in an additional $1.24, leaving the church with an $.11 deficit. In 1885, church bylaws were amended to include women as members with voting rights.
BUCC is widely known as the Ten O’Clock Church on Ten O’Clock Hill. In 1897, the congregation decided to erect a tall tower, to more closely resemble a German church. A clock would be installed when sufficient funds had been raised, but a dummy clock face, with the hands perpetually reading ten o’clock was installed as a placeholder. The working clock never was installed, so the dummy clock remained until the old church building was razed to begin construction of the existing church. The church became known by locals as the ten o’clock church and the hill it sat upon as Ten O’Clock Hill.
Also in 1897, the church joined the Portland German Association of Congregational Churches. At that time, the church was yoked with the congregations in Frog Pond and then south Canby. Rev William Essig’s letter of call specified a salary of $75/ year and a saddle.
By 1936, the church had outgrown the building, so despite the national economic depression, discussion of a new church began. Through a generous bequest, planning the new building commenced, and construction of the new, and current, church started in 1940. Much of the lumber from the old church was incorporated into the new structure, though the dummy clock face was not. The new church was dedicated June 15, 1941.
The 22 stained glass windows had been salvaged from an older, closed church in Wisconsin and were sent as a gift to Beavercreek. They were made in England around 1873.
The national United Church of Christ formed in 1957 with the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed churches and the Congregational Christian churches. Locally, it took until 1965 for the articles of incorporation to be changed for the church to become the Beavercreek United Church of Christ.
A fellowship hall was built in 1983 and was expanded to its current size in 1999.
In 1988, the church called its first female pastor, Rev. Joy Haertig.
In 1999, after much discussion and study, BUCC voted to become Open and Affirming. The decision was difficult and contentious. Some members left the church at that time, though others have joined because of the church’s radical welcome.
(Information taken from A Centennial History of the Beavercreek United Church of Christ, revised 1990)