PASTOR BOB WANG
Welcome to Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, or for short, Plymouth Church. I am the ordained pastor and teacher on the staff of this wonderfully diverse and gifted congregation. It is a privilege to be one of Christ’s servants in the ministry of “doing” church. I believe that church is not a sterile machine but rather a living, breathing organism that is as much a part of the wider community as it is a part of the body of Christ, and thus, is constantly changing.
The greatest reason we exist as the church is to worship our God and Creator who is constantly blessing us that we ourselves might be a blessing to others. In our worship, we constantly strive to better our lives personally and communally. I recently heard worship described as “what we do to facilitate the ongoing conversation with God, ourselves, one another, and the world.” I believe this to be an accurate description of worship and personally seek to organize and facilitate worship experiences that do just that.
If you are a “spiritual seeker,” then I would encourage you to come join us on a Sunday morning to see just how friendly and open we are as a faith community. We are not perfect but I believe us to be “real.” After all, the true heart is the one that is genuinely interested in seeking ways to better itself while not judging others and ultimately, willing to share the gospel with anyone who has ears, an open mind, and an open heart. We “practice” our faith not to perfect it but to joyfully embody it with a sense of gratitude to God for all God does for us.
In the United Church of Christ we say, “no matter who you are or where your are on life’s journey of faith, you are welcome here.” And, ours is a God who is never finished with us so we also say, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma (Gracie Allen). God is still speaking.”
In God’s Service,
Pastor Bob Wang
In 1843, the first Protestant Church, Presbyterian, was organized in Burlington and in 1852 a building was erected on the spot where the present Plymouth Church now stands. That first building and the land were bought by the newly formed Plymouth Church in 1859. This original building was taken down in 1902 and the cornerstone for the present church was laid that same year. This new building was erected at a cost of $11,377 and was free of debt when it was dedicated in February of 1903. In 1951, the educational wing and chapel were added. In 1972 the narthex built, and in 1992 a major sanctuary renovation was begun and finished in October of that year. On May 7, 2000, a new pipe organ, built by the Holtkamp Organ Company, was dedicated. This new instrument replaced an organ which had been in use since 1908.
Many of Burlington’s prominent early citizens were also members of Plymouth Church, among them entrepreneurs and businessmen Pliny Perkins and Charles Foltz. Among the many ministers who have served Plymouth, special mention can be made of Rev. Henry C. Schadeberg and Rev. Trent B. Rockwell. Henry Schadeberg served the congregation for 14 years and then went on to serve four terms in the US Congress, feeling that more of God’s people should be involved in government. Trent Rockwell served Plymouth for 15 years. He brought branches of the social services agencies from Racine to serve this end of Racine County and also began Plymouth Day Care Center, which is now called Plymouth Children’s Center.