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Over 20 Years of Liberal Religion in East Orlando

Led by Karl E. Peters, the University Unitarian Universalist Society (UUUS) was initially formed by more than 30 Founding Members. Many of them had been members of First Unitarian. Some had intended to form the UUUS as an outreach church. Some wanted to start a completely separate church. But all believed that forming a new UU church in the Orlando area was an important step in strengthening of the presence of liberal religion in the area.

On January 24, 1993, the members of the group met, signed the Charter, voted themselves into existence, and passed the bylaws--and the UUUS came to be. Some of those members are still a part of our church today.

The group first met in the Trinity Prep School library, later moving to the Harbor School cafeteria. In 1996, the church was presented with a challenge from a member to build a church for the congregation. So, with a $100,000 donation, they began the process of searching for available properties. They settled on four possible sites and investigated development on each, finally selecting the site we are on today.

At the time, this section of McCulloch Road was a very remote dirt road, and many in the congregation thought the 4.34 acre property was in the middle of nowhere. In addition, it was covered in trash. But they agreed as a congregation to purchase the property and began design of the church site in earnest. They were fortunate to have Steve Helle, serving as President and design Civil Engineer, and Herb Hawthorne serving as architect, both investing countless hours in making the building a reality.

In January 1999, the 4060 square foot building was opened and they finally had a permanent church home.

It has been a terrific space and has served us well. However, by 2002 it became clear that more space was needed. After much planning, final plans were set for an additional building. On December 13, 2009, Founding Member Clark Slayman broke ground, surrounded by the children of our RE.

The new building was dedicated about a year later, on January 16, 2011. The 2000 square foot building provides us two additional RE classrooms, a room for our BEACON youth group, an additional large meeting room with kitchenette, and a unisex bathroom with a shower. A new playground was built, easily accessible from the youth RE classrooms.

We look forward to many more years of worship, learning, and community!

Want to learn more about our faith and its rich history?
Feel free to visit our UU 101 page for information on our Unitarian Universalist faith or attend our Visitor Welcome class.

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