In 1865, at the close of the Civil War, Congregationalists from across the United States met together, for only the second time in their history. The meetings were held in Old South Church in Boston. On one day the meeting moved to Plymouth, met at Burial Hill, and joined in the “Burial Hill Declaration.” After an elaborate introduction praising “the faith of our fathers,” the Declaration pronounced its doctrine, as found below. This national meeting also adopted a “Statement of Congregational Principles,” a polity statement not included here.

In 1871 Congregationalists gathered in Oberlin, Ohio, to establish an ongoing national organization. They produced a Constitution, and the “Oberlin Declaration,” which simply reaffirmed the Burial Hill Declaration, with its emphasis on Christian Unity.

The text is from Williston Walker’s Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism. The text may also be found in Living Theological Heritage 4:502-504.

The Burial Hill Declaration

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