Working for Peace & Social Justice Since 1885

First United Church of Tampa was founded as First Congregational Church of Tampa in 1885, when Tampa had fewer than 4,000 inhabitants. We have a history of courageously leading efforts for social justice and reform, and this continues in the life of our church today. In 2002, First United Church of Tampa merged with the United Community Church (UCC) of North Tampa to form a new First United Church of Tampa. We are truly a united church and a uniting church.

  • We helped lead peace vigils during the mobilization for war with Iraq.
  • We educated ourselves about how the Patriot Act curtails our civil liberties.
  • We spoke out about Hillsborough County’s 2005 “gay pride” ban.  (We were the first organization in Hillsborough County to do so!)
  • We participated in the March on Washington to End the War on Iraq in September 2005.
  • We condemned the use of torture on prisoners.
  • We began consciously educating ourselves about being better stewards of God’s creation.
  • We, along with other UCC congregations and other religious organizations, supported efforts aimed at reinstating Largo’s city manager, who was fired in 2007 for revealing that she was going to have sexual reassignment surgery.
  • We endorsed the Earth Charter.
  • We clearly stated our opposition to the so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment (Amendment 2) and submitted a resolution to the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ for the delegates’ consideration at the 2008 Annual Meeting.  It was approved overwhelmingly!  We worked tirelessly against the discriminatory amendment, encouraging voters to vote “no” in November of that year.  Unfortunately, the amendment passed.  Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality, we are excited to be a church that marries same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
  • In celebration of our 125th anniversary, we declared ourselves a Multiracial and Multicultural church and reaffirmed our commitment to be an Open and Affirming church.
  • We took on the issue of LGBT teen bullying and suicides to bring awareness to this important issue and to let lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people know that we are indeed a church that fully and unconditionally welcomes them.
  • We are speaking out and taking action on the gun violence that is plaguing our country. We began participating in the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend with other congregations around the nation. Also, to increase public awareness, we update a weekly tally of gun deaths on a sign that we maintain on Fowler Avenue.
  • In 2016, we added a Spanish-language worship service to better serve the needs of our Hispanic neighbors who seek a progressive and inclusive expression of Christianity.
  • In celebration of our 131st anniversary, we adopted two more Core Values. We declared ourselves to be an Accessible to All church to better include people with disabilities into the full life of our congregation. We also declared ourselves to be a Relationship-Building church, which highlights our desire to work with interfaith, ecumenical, and secular communities to address issues of common concern in our community and throughout the world.

  • We are a WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) church in mental health within the church and in the community.  We believe that people with mental health challenges, their families and those who care for them should be fully included in the life of the church and community.
  • We are an Anti-racist church.  It’s not enough to say we are not racist, we must actively seek to eliminate racism in the church and in the world.  To accomplish this, we hold occasional seminars, read books together and work to end racism in our community and world.
  • First United has been a part of HOPE for over 25 years and has taken leadership roles throughout that time. HOPE is a faith-based community organization that works for systemic change to solve big justice concerns in our community. In recent years  HOPE congregations have secured more affordable housing for low income residents, have gotten juvenile civil citations expanded so that fewer youth are being arrested, and have gotten increased services for people with mental health challenges. Currently we are working on expanding adult civil citations, putting back affordable housing dollars that were committed but have been cut, strengthening stormwater ponds in vulnerable communities, and building more permanent supportive housing for those with mental health challenges.  You can be a part of this important change-making work in our community.  Speak to our team leaders for more information:  Lois Price, Roberto Binford, Jaki Flores, or Daphne Thomas.