We are the first church built in the new town of Perris and the oldest still standing. Perris First Congregational Church was organized on February 21, 1887 with 12 members. A year later, the building these members had labored to build was destroyed by a tornado in September of 1888. With faith and determination the church was rebuilt by the members in 1889 at the 6th Street address. In 1969 the church moved to North A Street, worshipping in what is now our Fellowship Hall. Due to the same faith and determination our founders had in 1887 and again 1889, today we worship in a beautiful new sanctuary built in 1990.
Perris First Congregational Church is traditional in its style of worship, but progressive and open when it comes to theological perspective. We are committed to practicing a faith that honors both the heart and the mind. In other words, all seekers are welcome. In the true spirit of Jesus we offer welcome, love and respect. Our beliefs help us to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, to discover his teachings in the Bible, be guided by the Holy Spirit and be informed by reason, faith and conscience. We are part of the United Church of Christ, a national denomination formed in 1957 by the merger of two historic American churches which have over 5,000 local congregations throughout the United States. Locally, we are members of the Southern California-Nevada Conference.
Perris First Congregational is committed to being an inspiring, welcoming, serving and fully functioning Christian community. We celebrate the rich diversity of our church and are committed to the ideal that our beautiful sanctuary is a house of prayer for all people. Our beliefs guide us to let all decisions be made by our members and to elect all leaders democratically.
As a "Congregational" church, we are grateful for our heritage that reaches all the way back to the original Mayflower Pilgrims. And as the oldest church in the city of Perris, (built in 1888) we celebrate that we are committed to the values of an ecumenical faith and interfaith dialogue.
- The congregation is self-governing and not controlled by a larger, denominational structure. Trustees and Deacons, elected by the congregation, provide leadership for our church.
- Ordinary members have a right (and responsibility) to participate fully in the life of the church, and every Christian has a contribution to make toward the ministry of the congregation.
- Some Congregational churches are part of the denomination, National Association of congregational Churches, while others, including Perris First Congregational Church are part of the United Church of Christ. All, however, are Congregational churches.
- Every member of a Congregational church has a right to pursue his or her own faith in good conscience; which means that there is a wonderful diversity of theological thought in our congregation. While we indeed share a unity around affirmation that in Jesus Christ we have learned that God is a God of love and grace, there is also a health presence of diversity on various issues of the faith.