Our church started in May 1995 as 5-7 people meeting in homes. Soon after, we moved to meeting at a local retirement home with about 20 people. Our organizing minister was the Rev. Ed Harris, Minister Emeritus of All Souls Unitarian Church of Indianapolis. Ed presented us with our first “singing bowl” which we still use in worship and meditation today. In August 1996, we learned that a local Presbyterian church had come on the market, the occupants having disbanded that June. The Presbyterians had been the only occupants since 1884. We financed a loan, purchased the building and have been there since August 1996. The Rev. Ed Harris was soon called to be Senior Minister at a UU church in Shelter Rock, NY.
Starting in 1997, our next minister Calvin Knapp, was employed as a contract minister for about 2 years. Also that year, one of our biggest annual philanthropic events, the Christmas Day Dinner was initiated by one of our members. In our early years, we delivered approximately 50 hot meals to people in need on Christmas Day. This endeavor continues to this day resulting in almost 800 dinners on Christmas day in 2012. We are the only source of a free, hot meal on Christmas Day in the county.
Even when lay-led, the church maintained an active part of the community by participating in Holiday on the Square, singing at a local restaurant, and aiding other churches in their community service projects. Our next contracted minister was Rev. Bruce Lakin, who was hired as an advising minister from November 2002 to October 2004.
The Rev. Andy Burnette came to us in 2007 as a contract minister until being called as a settled part-time minister in 2011. Rev. Burnette’s influence has been was important in the growth of UUCC. He has guided us through the process of becoming a Welcoming Congregation and led an annual LGBT rally for the last four years. Rev. Burnette was been was a strong influence to people visiting the church along with our RE program under Director Esther Rupert. They have made a great team, leading us well in both ministry and religious education. Rev. Burnette left us in the summer of 2012 to become a full time minister at Valley Unitariarn Universalist Church in Chandler Arizona.
Upon Rev. Burnette’s departure, the church decided to bring in an interim minister to continue our transition from a family to a pastoral size congregation, and to support us in our search for a new called minster. Rev Lynda Smith has been a blessing to our church, and continues to offer her wisdom, providing guidance to our efforts to deal with the many activities now in process in the church.
In May of 2014, we unanimously called our second settled minister to the congregation. Rev. Jennifer Gray joins us in her first settled ministry. We look forward to walking with her for many years.
Being committed to community work and social justice, there are many events that we undertake every year such as: Guest at Your Table, a county wide/all-denominational Underwear Drive, the LGBT Rally and the Christmas Day Dinner. In addition, at every service, food is collected for one of the local food banks. We are the largest church-based support for that pantry, outside of the hosting church. Church members help cook a local community lunch at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on the fifth Wednesday of the month. Social justice endeavors within the local community will continue to be a central part of our social justice activities.