Our History

Louis Edward Nollau with his family, circa 1858 or 1859.

Louis Edward Nollau with his family, circa 1858 or 1859.

We believe you need to understand where you’ve been to know where you’re going.

The Council for Health and Human Service Ministries is rooted in the predecessor churches of the United Church of Christ. After the 1934 merger that formed the Evangelical and Reformed Church, the Federation of Evangelical Charities and the Reformed Church’s 11 health and human service ministries joined to form the Commission on Benevolent Institutions of the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1939.

The United Church of Christ was formed in 1957 by the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church.

In 1961 the UCC formed the Council for Health and Welfare Services. Recognizing the necessity to be more directly involved with implementing UCC health and welfare programs, the Council incorporated in 1982 and changed its name to the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM).

CHHSM is a membership organization that is directed and supported by all the health and human service ministries recognized by the Conferences of the United Church of Christ. Our mission, on behalf of the entire church, is to sustain and advance the work of healing and service as a ministry of the church of Jesus Christ.

Today, dozens of UCC-related corporations operate hundreds of communities, programs and other agencies expressing the health and human service mission of the church. These include acute health care services, services to persons with developmental disabilities, services to children, youth and families, and services to the aging.

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CHHSM Board and Staff are grieved to learn of the death of our friend and colleague, Greg Watson, who died in October 2022. Greg was vice president of operations for Embrace Living Communities, based in Oak Brook, Ill.Greg was a graduate of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute, class of 2018-2019, and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister during our 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago. In an article about his class in June 2018 — not long after the group’s first retreat — Greg said, “The best part is not only beginning the process of clarifying your calling; but also, understanding and accepting one’s personal strength. Recognition of one’s ‘true' self enables us to serve from a place of wholeness.”Greg also served on the CHHSM Board of Directors, and was a beloved friend and colleague to many in the CHHSM family. Embrace Living stated on its website, “Greg was an outstanding servant leader for 17 years at Embrace Living Communities. He will be greatly missed.”CHHSM sends its prayers and love to Greg’s friends, family, and Embrace Living colleagues. ... See MoreSee Less
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