Our History


Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ was formed in March of 1955 by the board of Home Missions of the Congregational Christian Church in the U.S.A., the Florida Congregational Christian Conference and the First Congregational Church of St. Petersburg Florida.  An advance of $50,000.00 was made to buy the property on Central Ave.  The first service was held in the Higgins house on March 20, 1955, with the Rev. Walter Whitney as pastor and gave his first sermon. The Evangelical & Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church merged to become the United Church of Christ in 1958.  The Sanctuary was built in 1960.  Heritage Hall was built in 1965.  The Library was added on to the original Higgins House, which has been the home of our Child Development Center for 39 years.

The cross has long been a meaningful symbol to the Christians.  In 1957-58 when the sanctuary was being constructed, Pastor Henry Tuttle designed the cross we see today.  The tall vertical of the cross reminds us of the relationship between God and humankind; the embracing horizontal arms call to mind our relationship and responsibility to our sisters and brothers here and around the world.  The budded or trefoil ends represent the eternal Holy Trinity.  The circles at the joining of the segments of the cross frames the Chi (large X shape) Rho (Elongated P).  These two Greek letters are the beginning of the name of Christ.  Also within the circle are the Alpha and Omega, first and last letters in the Greek Alphabet symbolizing Christ's eternal divinity (Rev. 1:11).  The lattice construction illustrates our interconnectedness.  Ours is an empty cross to celebrate a risen Christ.