History of Unitarian Universalism
in Greeley, CO
In 1870, the Newspaper Magnate and Universalist Horace Greeley encouraged a group of Eastern settlers to found a town under the plan devised by his Agricultural Editor, Nathan Meeker.
"Unitarians and Universalists had informally met since 1874, but in 1880, they organized the First Unitarian Society of Greeley. With $4,000 in pledges, they built Unity Church in 1886-1887 at the northeast corner of Nith Street and Ninth Avenue. At the request of the board of education, the Unitarians rented the church to the school district fir Edith Knapp's ninth-grade class in 1887-1888 because of overcrowded conditions at the Meeker School." - Peggy Ford Waldo with the Greeley History Museum, Greeley (Images of America)
"Greeley is enjoying a period of prosperity under the able leadership of Rev. John Mitchell. The Alliance has been able to solve the material needs of the congregation, and the church property has been placed in the best possible condition for practical service. The parish is proud of the fact that its pastor is president of the Greeley Ministers' Association as were none of his predecessors. A great loss has been felt in Greeley in the death of Mr. D. B. Sanborn, who for many years was an unfailing friend and member of the Unitarian fellowship, and a man of great worth and influence." - The Christian Register, February 25, 1915
"Rev. John C. Mitchell has resigned his pastorate of the church in Greeley, Col., where he has been for the past six years, the resignation to take effect July 1. He was obliged to give up his work in this beautiful city because his wife could not live in the high altitude of this mountainous section. Mr. Mitchell will leave Greeley with the highest expression of good will of his church, the press, of the city citizenship, and of the Ministerial Union of Greeley, of which he is the president. His address after July 1 will be Boise, Ida." - Christian Register, March 11, 1915
At various times the church moved to different homes, until disbanding in the 1930’s. The congregation donated the final of Unity church assets ($1,455.70) to the hospital in 1938.
The present Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley began as a Fellowship in 1961, established by Frank and Barbara Bowles and Neal and Patsy Carpenter (made many contributions and countless friends through her work as a performer and music educator throughout Colorado. In the 1970s, she completed her master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Northern Colorado. Soon after, she became a music teacher for elementary school children), who went door-to-door and advertised in the Greeley Tribune to stir interest.
In 2002, Rev. Petr Dolak serves the congregation as interm minister and meets in the Evans Community Complex. Rev. Dolak was known for leading the congregation in social justice works like the march in protest of fliers the White Supremist Group National Alliance posted on campus.