First Unitarian History

Campus Timeline
1830:  First Unitarian Society of Louisville is formed
1832:  Unitarians dedicate new building on the corner of Fifth and Walnut
1840:  Universalists buy and repair a building on Chapel Street
1843:  Universalists build a new building in the 800 block of West Market Street
1852:  Unitarians expand building to add more pews
1865:  First Unitarian establishes the Widow's and Orphan's Home
1869:  Unitarians and Universalists merge in Louisville to form a new church called The Church of the Messiah
1871:  New building is dedicated at the corner of Fourth and York Street
1872:  Building is rededicated after a fire destroyed the building in late 1871
1895:  Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Chapman Catt speak on sufferage outside the church
1918:  Name of church is changed back to First Unitarian
1951:  Theophilus Conrad Parish House is dedicated
1957-1960: Thomas Jefferson church planted
1979:  Campus expanded to include Heywood House property
1985-1989:  Fire destroys building, congregation meets at Plymouth Church
1989:  Re-built building is dedicated and congration moves back into the building

Ministry Timeline
1832-1833 George Chapman
1833-1839 James Freeman Clark
1840-1880 John Healy Heywood
1880-1883 CJK Jones
1883-1884 John B Green
1884-1898 CJK Jones
1898-1900 Arthur Littlefield
1900-1902 Frederick Hawley
1903-1909 William H Ramsey
1910-1916 Maxwell Savage
1916-1919 Dilworth Lupton
1919-1923 R. Ernest Akin
1923-1930 Lon R Call
1930-1937 Richard WF Seebode
1938-1941 Carl B Bihldorff
1942-1945 Maynard Van Dyke
1946-1960 Robert T Weston
1961-1963 Phillip Smith
1963-1967 David Brown
1968-1985 Robert Reed
Interim: Virginia Knowles
1986-2001 Richard Beal
Interim: David Parker
2002-2006 Norm Stewart
Interim: Betsy Schuermann
Interim: Alma Crawford
2009-2016 Dawn Cooley

The founding of First Unitarian in Louisville in 1830 was a direct outgrowth of a decision by the newly formed AUA to send newly trained ministers westward.  The church was founded by six local families and raised enough funds to erect a permanent building in 1832.  In the early years of the church the ministers often also played key roles in local history.  James Freeman Clarke edited the Western Messenger, a Unitarian journal.  John Healy Heywood was an agent for the Louisville School system and say the establishment of the first male and female public high shcools. See Also: The Encyclopedia of Louisville