The Southeast Conference (SEC) is one of the 38 conferences of the United Church of Christ and comprises a five-and-a-half state area including the states of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee (excluding the city of Memphis), Alabama, Mississippi (excluding the coastal area surrounding Interstate 10), and the Florida panhandle west of the Apalachicola River.
This conference bears the strong heritages of several missionary efforts, dating back to the postbellum period of the late 19th century. The Southeast Conference is the successor to the Southeast Convention of Congregational Christian Churches. Before the formation of the Southeast Conference, the Congregational Christian Convention of the South was body of the African-American Black Congregationalists and Afro-Christian churches. Southern Congregationalism has been a little-known and minor tradition among the Southern churches.
However, our roots extend back to the establishment of the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 1681 and the historic Midway Congregational Church in Midway, Georgia, established in 1752. The work of the American Missionary Association during the latter part of the 19th century, through which an estimated 500 schools and 200 churches were established to serve the recently emancipated enslaved, has left an enduring impact on the life of the Southeast Conference.
Other strands of past and current denominational traditions that have been parts of the Southeast Conference include Congregational Methodism, Black Congregationalists, Afro-Christian Churches, Welsh Congregationalism, Evangelical and Reformed churches, and white churches of the Christian Connection.
For a comprehensive history of the conference, visit our Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Conference,_United_Church_of_Christ
For an in-depth look at the history of the Southeast Conference visit Project 66-16, an initiative to record, compile, and write our history. This collection contains newsletters and other important documents from the past of the Conference and its immediate predecessor, the Southeast Convention of Congregational Christian Churches. Mike Stroud, member of United Church of Huntsville, Alabama (UCC), is the director. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about our history in the following articles:
- A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Southeast Conference
- Memories of a Southern Sojourn
- Errand in the Wilderness: Congregationalism in Appalachia
- A Kudzu Pilgrimage: Liberal Congregationalism in the Southland
- German Evangelicals and Swiss Reformed Seek Zion in the Southland
- The Christians of Alabama and Georgia
- The Congregational Methodist Church
- The American Missionary Association
- Puritan Days
- Reconciling Racial Differences