About Us | Publishing History

The Pilgrim Press is a bold voice with a rich heritage spanning 400 years of publishing. We trace our roots through the United Church of Christ's denominational ancestors, which include:

English Separatists (1617-1619)

Publishing treatises against the Church of England under the name Pilgrim Press in Leiden, Holland.

English Puritans (1640)

Publishing the first English-language book of British North America—The Whole Booke of Psalmes, a.k.a. the Bay Psalm Book—in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Christian Church (1808-1930)

Publishing through the Herald of Gospel Liberty, celebrated as the first religious newspaper in North America. Today, many issues of the paper can be read in online archives.

Congregationalism (1829-1930)

Publishing under the names American Doctrinal Tract Society, Massachusetts Sabbath-School Society, Congregational Board of Publication, and (starting in the 1890s) The Pilgrim Press.

German Reformed Church (1850s-1920s)

Publishing as Central Publishing House (1850s-1900s) in Cleveland for German Reformed Congregations in Ohio. The Central Publishing House building still stands and is occupied by a book retailer.

Publishing as the Reformed Church Publication Board (1870s-1900s) in Philadelphia, PA, and through a periodical called The Messenger (1874-1927).

German Evangelical Synod (1895-1970s)

Publishing as Eden Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri. Eden Publishing House remained independent of the UCC after 1957. The EPH building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Congregational Christian Church (1931 merger)

Publishing as The Pilgrim Press (Boston). The merged Congregational and Christian denominations also produced a newspaper called Advance.

Evangelical & Reformed Synods (1934 merger)

Publishing as The Christian Education Press (Philadelphia). The CEP famously published Martin Luther King, Jr.'s The Measure of a Man (1959).

United Church of Christ (1957 merger)

Following the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and Evangelical Reformed Synods to form the United Church of Christ, the UCC published under multiple imprints:

  • The Pilgrim Press (continuous)
  • United Church Press (est. 1958)
  • Christian Education Press (discontinued in the 1960s)
  • Stillspeaking Writers' Group (est. 2006)
  • Open Waters Publishing (est. 2022)

Today, The Pilgrim Press (through its imprints) publishes books that nurture spiritual growth, cultivate religious leadership, and provoke the soul for the sake of justice. Sign up for our e-newsletter!