The History of Plymouth

Plymouth Church was founded in 1853 by a group of abolitionists and named for Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, whose pastor at that time was Henry Ward Beecher, the prominent anti-slavery reformer.

Early pastors would serve as part of the American Missionary Association, as would Edmonia Highgate, a black lay member of the congregation. Created with funds originally raised for the defense of the Amistad captives, the AMA would found schools and universities for freed former slaves across the American South.

Continuing in the legacy of its early founders, the congregation has consistently stood for justice. Since 1985 the Plymouth community has declared itself to be a Sanctuary Church, sheltering refugees from Central America until they could find safe haven in Canada; a Just Peace Church, intentionally speaking out for peace with justice; an Open and Affirming congregation offering supportive welcome to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender; and a New Sanctuary congregation, offering support to persons without documents and their families.

In 1969 Plymouth created the Plymouth Daycare Center, which for many years provided moderately-priced childcare for workers of all backgrounds and income levels in downtown Syracuse.