Who We Are
The First Congregational Church of Escondido is a United Church of Christ community that is compatible with a wide variety of theological perspectives. We are an inclusive family of believers who welcome diverse lifestyles and provide hospitality and service within and beyond the walls of the church. We are a self-governing church, guided by God's unconditional love and grace, affirming the belief of the United Church of Christ that "God is still speaking."
As we journey into the future, we envision uniting in faith and working together while we navigate the constant changes in Escondido and the world. We will strive to increase our involvement in the cultural, ethnic, and generational diversity in our community. In all that we do, we will seek to embody the welcoming statement of the United Church of Christ....
We Aspire To:
Create a safe and sacred place where everyone may be empowered and healed in order to abide in the love of Christ;
Learn from the past, embrace the present, and seek God's plan for the future;
Provide innovative worship and inspirational music;
Offer the life-long study and meaningful spiritual growth; and
Connect to the community by ministering to those in need and sharing our resources.
What We Believe
We, the members and friends of First Congregational Church in Escondido, United Church of Christ, do hereby covenant with God and one another in the Spirit of love, to work together as a safe and sacred community of faith:
• to trust and mutually respect one another;
• to be hopeful and optimistic, as we affirm that God is still speaking;
• to rely on Biblical guidance and God’s direction;
• to act with commitment and passion;
• to be open and accepting to all people;
• to be good stewards with God’s resources; and
• to grow in our Christian life, faith, and service.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to being an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, welcoming all people into the full life and ministry of this church.
We celebrate our human family’s diversity of age, ethnicity, education, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, faith history, marital status, and physical and mental health.
We recognize that there are differences among us, but seek to follow Christ’s command to “love one another” even when we may not agree.
We desire to live out our welcoming statement, “Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Where We've Been
Throughout its long history as the 2nd oldest church in Escondido, FCCE has firmly established itself as a place of inspirational Christ centered worship with diverse perspectives and engaging fellowship opportunities for all ages. We hold to our long tradition of being a leading faith community in Escondido involved with many mission outreach programs and social justice causes in North County and in the greater world. Our congregation, and Sr. Pastor, Rev. Holgie Choi, are actively involved in numerous community programs, and we host several public events each year. Additionally, we enjoy hosting several community groups who use our campus for their gatherings.
FCCE was established in 1886 as a protestant Congregational Church, where each congregation individually oversees its own church governance. The initial worship services were held at the Lime House in Grape Day Park, followed by the purchase of property the following year on Third and Maple in Escondido. FCCE grew and thrived at this location until 1986, when the current property on N. Broadway was purchased and a new campus was built. Weekly worship services and activities have been held at our current location since 1989.
1979 - FCCE was a founding faith community of Interfaith Community Services in Escondido.
2012 - Celebration of FCCE 125th anniversary
2020 - Rose Labyrinth Memorial Garden public opening as a place of respite and reflection.
Our church campus hosts several community groups including AA and NA, Matthew 633 food program, Scouts, Element School
2022 - FCCE became an official Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, where we continue our work and advocacy to be a welcoming community of faith to all.