It all started in 1971 with an idea and a newspaper ad seeking those who might be interested in forming a UU Fellowship in Wayne County. Through an open invitation, local businessman, Lowell Steinbrenner sought others with common beliefs and values.
Members of the community responded and a series of organizational meetings and steering committee sessions were held. On April 23, 1972, 19 charter members met at Freedlander Park Chalet to adopt the draft constitution, elect officers, and sign the membership book.
Our first official Sunday worship service was held in rented space at the Union Grange Hall in Madisonburg on September 17, 1972. Originally, the Fellowship operated as a small, informal discussion group led by laity who took turns planning Sunday services. The UUA voted us into membership as a congregation on January 26, 1973.
In 1991 Mary Knottevange was engaged to provide part-time ministerial services. She was followed by Barbara Cooke (1992), who began at ¼-time and grew to ½-time by 1996, when she was succeeded by V. Elaine Strawn.
By 1996, the 62 members had accumulated a growth fund sizeable enough to purchase the first permanent building, which was located on the corner of Saybolt and North Columbus Avenues in Wooster.
In our own home, membership, education and social programs continued to grow, allowing part-time staff additions to support Religious Education, bookkeeping, the choir and music. We have been certified as a UUA (LGBT) Welcoming Congregation since 2001.
By 1999 Sunday mornings were crowded so we started the process of finding a new, larger home. Ultimately we decided to build and we moved to our new home at 3186 Burbank Road in October 2005 with 123 members. In 2006 our new building received Leed Gold certification, the first for a place of worship in the USA.
Thirty-six years after the first newspaper ad, our 170 member fellowship was named a Breakthrough Congregation
by the Unitarian Universalist Association--one of only four honored in 2008.
We have continued to grow and as of January 2013 we have 209 members.
3186 Burbank Road • Wooster, Ohio