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    Environmental Stewardship

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I am so pleased you have found our website. Don't know what path you took to find us, but we have a saying in our church: "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!" Those are not polite, empty words to me or to the congregation I am blessed to serve. Our Open and Affirming statement says it best, but I also like the song I learned as a child: "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world." 

I would update that old favorite by saying that whether you're young or old, gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian – titles that have a tendency to divide folks in the world – the members of First Congregational will embrace and value you, and respect the journey you have traveled to this point. We would like to get to know you, and learn from you, and grow from our relationship. We hope you might like to do the same.

If you are seeking a church that celebrates God’s inclusive love and values “right actions” more than “right beliefs,” First Congregational could become your spiritual home. I hope you'll choose to "check us out" some Sunday soon.


Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 


First Congregational United Church of Christ of Hendersonville welcomes and respects all people and viewpoints, and strives to follow the teachings and actions of Jesus. We nourish and support our members' spiritual journeys and joyfully minister to their needs. We work for justice in our community and the world by living compassion, protecting creation, and reaching out to our neighbors with love.

In this church, I have found total acceptance – without question – without limitation. Through this unconditional love, I now know what Jesus – and his God – are all about.

Bal Goleman

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 


There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28

As Christians and members of First Congregational United Church of Christ, we are a diverse group of people. We are persons of various ages, races, gender identities, accomplishments and goals, abilities, sexual orientations, theological and political beliefs, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

In our diversity we find strength and a way to understand the inclusiveness of God. We recognize each individual as a child of God. We welcome all people to join in our common mission through participation and leadership in this communion of faith.

 FCUCC Congregational Meeting, 2008


The unique combination of characteristics and actions that distinguishes First Congregational.


We value diversity – including people of all faith traditions, sexual orientations, and gender identities –  and embrace newcomers with friendly hospitality and generosity. You will find our members open, accepting, and non-judgmental. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.


We strive to understand and follow the teachings of Jesus, leading to an action-oriented congregation that values right actions over right beliefs. Being a covenantal rather than creedal church, we are each free to believe and act in accordance with our own experience of God. Instead, we encourage thinking and questioning that lead to life-long learning.


We nourish and support our members’ spiritual and personal growth in a loving and accepting environment, and joyfully minister to one another’s needs. Members and non-members alike gain a sense of belonging through encouragement to participate in church life and to pursue their passions and ideas.


We extend compassion to those in need, “every single one,” wherever they may be. We dedicate 16 percent of our offerings  to local, national, and international charitable and social-justice organizations, and provide special giving opportunities. Both as a church and as individuals, we volunteer with many community-service projects and organizations.


We take risks for justice and peace through resistance and daring – standing with the outcast, oppressed, denigrated, and afflicted against discriminatory social and legal practices. We work for social justice through action groups focused on advocacy, homelessness/housing, gun violence, mental health, national inclusiveness/immigration, and care of God’s creation.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 


Our Pastor 

Richard Weidler 

Richard was called to our church in 2008 after having served UCC congregations in New England and Pennsylvania for more than 25 years. He is a pastor with a compassionate heart, who cares deeply for members as well as those beyond First Congregational who are struggling because of social injustice, distributive injustice, and systemic inequality of opportunity or possibility.  Richard has led First Congregational from being a quiet little neighborhood church to becoming a voice for justice and compassion to the larger community. As our church has grown and evolved, so has our pastor. Richard received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 1975, after which he studied in Europe for two years before entering Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1981. To reach Richard, please call 828-692-8630.

Our Minister of Music     

Mark Acker

Mark began his work at First Congregational in January of 2016. His primary roles include leading the Choir, serving as a pastoral presence to members of the choir and church, playing the organ, preaching in the absence of our pastor, and working with various groups and work areas in the church.

Prior to coming to First Congregational, Mark served for 26 years as Director of Music, Worship, and the Arts at two congregations in Nashville, Tennessee. He also served churches in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is the author of "The Passion Driven Youth Choir."

Mark's  passion now lies in helping the choir and the music of First Congregational to be a light in which all people – young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight – find inspiration, joy, community, and meaning.  

Our Administrator    

Linda Welch

Linda came to First Congregational in May 2013 as a former retreat facility director with a background in non-profit and office management. She has lived in Western North Carolina for 13 years where she has found her “soul” home. Always ready to help in any way she is able, Linda seems to have time and patience for everyone. Office hours are Tuesday - Friday, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm. Contact Linda by phone at 828-692-8630.

Our Custodians

Dora and Charles Littleton

Charles has been the custodian at FCC for 35 years and was joined by his wife, Dora, in 1994. Charles and Dora were married at FCC in 1996 and have made many friends here over the years!

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 



Despite searching for 25 years, we found each church we visited too stiff, too regimented, too demanding, too conservative, or too large. When we found First Congregational, we knew it was different in a very good way. Each reason we hadn’t been able to settle on a church melted away.


I am thankful for the balance in this church: the union of the active and the contemplative; scripture and service; outward ritual and inward joy.


The membership's diversity enriches our church experience and makes us grateful to be part of such a warm and caring congregation. We continue to be challenged to think differently as social issues are raised and discussed.


First Congregational is a loving community whose members support and challenge each other to discover and pursue a true Christian path.


I am so grateful to have found a spiritual home where my progressive Christian faith will be nurtured.


First Congregational is infused with the Spirit that not only nourishes me but nudges me to grow in the Spirit of inclusion, outreach, and love.


This church provides hope in darkness, strength in numbers, and a forward resolve for Christians.


I am committed to this church because every single person is treated with great love and dignity. Differences are respected, and individual gifts are encouraged. It is a community where people are always challenged to walk the walk. It is a community where everyone is treated as a child of God, not only made by God but made of God.


I am so pleased to belong to a church that will take a stand -- go on record -- to address the very important issues of our time.


First Congregational seeks to be open and available to all in the community. Charities and most nonprofits are generally permitted building use without charge. Commercial users and non-members are asked to pay our standard fees.

If you or your organization needs space for a gathering, please consider our facilities.

  • Our Sanctuary can be used for large gatherings such as concerts, seating 300 comfortably. Acoustics are excellent.
  • The Sanctuary is also ideal for weddings. All couples are welcome, with or without religious affiliation. In addition, First Congregational is the first church in Henderson County to perform same-sex marriages.
  • Fellowship Hall can accommodate up to 150 and features an attached kitchen.
  • The Library is an ideal meeting space for 12 around a conference table.
  • The Parlor is a comfortable setting for informal meetings and more intimate gatherings.

Please complete this form to inquire about availability.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.

The UCC is a blend of four principal traditions: Congregational, Christian, Evangelical, and Reformed. If you’d like to learn more, visit the UCC website.

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational. 



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