Atlanta, Ga., January 9, 1905
Annual meeting of church held this evening in the church parlors, the weather being quite stormy and many of the members being either sick, or having sickness in their families, and a number of the members being out of the city, the attendance was much smaller than had been hoped for.
The meeting was called to order at 8:25 P.M. by Chairmen Watts.
Present: Mrs. & Mr. John L. Moore, Messrs. Douglas, Crafts, Francis, St. Amand, Harding, Cowan and Rev. C.A .Langston and Mrs. Daniels, Lederle, Cowan and Misses Lederle and Martin – 15 in all.
The meeting though small in number was enthusiastic and every one seemed to feel after hearing from Treasurer, St. Amand, that the church was in better financial condition than ever before.
Minutes of the last annual meeting read and approval. The Clerk’s report read as follows and was approved and ordered spread on the minutes. Average attendance for the year – 44.
Mr. Crafts as a member of the committee on church membership roll, reported that his committee had made up a list of all members who had ever signed the church roll. The committee felt a hesitancy in classifying who were and who were not now members. On motion the committee was given further time and empowered to use their judgment in preparing two lists one to represent the active members of the church, and the other associate members.
The Superintendent of the Sunday School report was read by the Secretary and Treasurer of the Sunday school, which report was approved, and was supplemented by a ringing talk from Superintendent Douglas, asking the support of all members of the church in building up and strengthening the Sunday school which was the cornerstone of the church. He also made a plea to the Woman’s Alliance to furnish the Sunday School with two more teachers, Mr. Douglas’s speech was well received, although he made pointed remarks to those present for the lack of interest, on their part in the Sunday School. When Mr. Douglas concluded, he was given a vote of thanks for his remarks.
The report of Mrs. D.E. Spencer, Treasurer of the Woman’s Alliance was read by Mr. St. Amand, which report was received and ordered spread on the minutes.
Report of Mrs. Behre as President of the Woman’s Alliance was read by Mrs. Lederle, Mrs. Behre being absent from the city, report was received, ordered spread on the minutes, and a vote of thanks extended to the President.
Mr. St. Amand as Treasurer of the church supplemented his report with a few details telling how he became to be Treasurer and the progress the church has made in a financial way during his administration. The report was received, ordered spread on the minutes, and it was suggested that as Mr. St. Amand was on quite friendly terms with Rev. Samuel Eliot, President of the American Unitarian Association, that he forward a copy of his report together with his remarks to Mr. Eliot, believing that Mr. Eliot would be interested in the progress that has been made, as shown by Mr. St. Amand and the improvement in the condition of the church’s finances.
An interesting report was made by Rev. C.A. Langston, as Pastor going into detail of the work he had in hand to develop the church during the year 1905, report was received and ordered spread on the minutes.
Mr. Douglas moved that by-law also be amended so as to real: the advisory committee shall consist of three members, male up of two ladies and one gentleman, the Pastor being ex officio – carried.
Mr. St. Amand moved that the Pastor’s salary be fixed for the year 1905 – $1.200.00 – carried.
Mr. Douglas as Chairman of the nominating committee submitted his report which was signed by all the members of the committee of the officers and trustees selected to be voted for and elected for the ensuing year, the Clerk upon motion was ordered to cast about for the names presented, and the ticket as a whole was unanimously elected. Mr. St. Amand then presented a subscription list to cover the expenses for the year 1906 – some six hundred dollars was subscribed at once.
Miss Martin made a talk regarding raising funds to purchase a new organ for the church, and was well received. Mr. Langston followed on the same line, it was finally moved and carried that a committee be appointed to take steps to raise funds to purchase the organ, when the funds were in hand to pay cash for, the organ, said committee to be composed of Mr. C.H. Behre, Mr. Ralph R. Brown and Mrs. A.M. Lederle and Rev. C. A. Langston.
There being no further business, meeting adjourned.
J.E. Harding, Clerk
To the members & friends of the Church of Our Father:
The only matters that I have to report to you on will be the number of meetings held, the attendance, etc., which I herewith make.
The Board of Trustees have held regular monthly meetings during the past year, at which all members of the board have taken great interest, and the meetings have been well attended. Subjects of interest looking toward the development of the church have been freely discussed. The Church meetings have been as follows:
- Annual meeting Jan, 11, 1904
- Quarterly meeting April 11, 1904
- Adjourned Quarterly meeting April 17, 1904
- Quarterly meeting July 11, 1904
- Special meeting Nov.15, 1904
- and Special meeting Dec.25, 1904
The average attendance at church worship for the entire year was 48 – which is the best average it has been my privilege to report.
As you all know the charter of the society was renewed in June at which time the title name of the society was changed from the Church of Our Father, (Unitarian) to the Unitarian Church of Atlanta.
J.E. Harding, Clerk
Sunday School Report
Unitarian Sunday School
Secretary’s Report for the Year 1904
The year began very encouragingly. Our attendance for the previous year showed a high average for our numbers; and with all bills paid, we entered upon the new year with a nice balance in the treasury.
The first Sunday in January being selected for the election officer, they were chosen as follows:
- Supt.: Mr. Hamilton Douglas.
- Asst. Supt.: Mr. Geo. H. Crafts
- Secy & Treas: Miss Hattie E. Martin
- Organist: Miss Elinor Behre
- Librarian: Mr. Alfred Barili
- Director of Music: Mr. C. A. Langston
Our classes at the beginning of the year numbered six as follows:
- Bible Class,Teacher: Mr. C. A. Langston
- Young Peoples’ Class, Teacher: Mrs. Hamilton Douglas
- Advanced Class, Teacher: Miss Alice Dixon
- Intermediate Class, Teacher: Mrs. Chas. H. Behre
- Advanced Primary Class, Teacher: Mrs. Meta Foster
- Primary Class, Teacher: Mrs J. S.Russell
On account of non-attendance, the Bible Class was unable to continue, but the other classes have remained under their respective teachers throughout the year to its close.
The general average for the first half of the year was 36. Largest number present being Easter Sunday, when we had 62. Smallest number present was on Feb 21, the day being a very stormy one. On that day there were only 16 present.
For the second half of the year the average was not so good, 30. Largest attendance was 37; this being the number present for several Sundays. Smallest attendance was on Aug. 7th, when 15 were present. The small attendance during the summer months was due largely to the absence of families and their children from the city.
General average for the year 33.
In connection with the subject of attendance, will say that we have suffered losses by death, removal from city, and other withdrawal which have reduced our numbers considerably. We hope, however, to make every effort to build up and increase the attendacne for the year just begun; and ask the earnest co-operation of all.
An entertainment given in January netted a neat sum for the treasury which was devoted as part payment of the painting of the church in April.
Easter Sunday and Christmas were celebrated by songs, recitations and appropriate remarks.
The usual Summer picnic proved an enjoyable occasion; and the Autumn picnic was likewise appreciated.
Unitarian Sunday School
Treasurer’s Report for the Year 1904
|Jan 1||Cash on Hand||$30.32|
|Jan 24||Receipts from Entertainment||$23.75|
|Jan 24||Sale of books||$13.00|
|Jan 24||Offering for year||$60.80|
|Total receipts for the year||$127.87|
|Jan 9||Tuning the piano in Dec||$2.50|
|Jan 10||Janitor, Christmas||$.75|
|Jan 23||1 doz. Bibles revised version||$6.00|
|Jan 24||Cost of entertainment||$4.25|
|Jan 24||1/2 Doz. Primary chairs||$3.00|
|Jan 31||Cloak and work||$1.25|
|Mar 19||Repairs and tuning piano||$18.00|
|Mar 25||1/2 doz. silver stars||$1.02|
|Apr 2||To American Unit. Ass’n.||$4.17|
|Apr 16||Painting church||$38.50|
|Jun 22||Floral offering||$2.00|
|Jul 14||Bill for lessons||$8.27|
|Jul 14||Papers from Sept ’03 to July ’04||$4.00|
|Jul 31||Janitor, Summer picnic||$.50|
|Sep 6||2 dozen colored stars||$2.00|
|Dec 12||Floral offering||$3.00|
|Dec 27||Decorations, Christmas||$2.25|
|Dec 27||Christmas tree, candy, etc.||$9.07|
|Dec 27||Janitor, Fall picnic||$.60|
|Dec 27||Bill for lessons||$9.02|
|Dec 27||Ice from May to Oct||$1.20|
|Dec 27||Postage and M.O. fees (Archivist: Money Order)||$.24|
Dec 31, 1904 Cash on hand: $6.28.
Harriet E. Martin, Secy & Treas.
Hamilton Douglas, Supt.
Woman’s Alliance Report
Annual report for year 1904 of Treasurer of the Ladies Alliance of the Unitarian church.
|Balance in Treasury Jan 1, ’04||$7.29|
|Received from Dues||$10.50|
|Total Receipts for year||$235.29|
|National Alliance Dues||$8.08|
|Nat’l Missionary Fund||$3.00|
|Post Office Mission||$1.00|
|Total Disbursements for year||$232.56|
Cash in Treasury: $2.73
Mrs. D.E. Spencer, Treasurer
Atlanta, Ga., January 6. 1905
To the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Atlanta.
We, the committee appointed to nominate officers for the, ensuing year to report as follows:
- For pastor, Rev. C . A. Langston
- For members on board of Trustees for the new term of three years the following: Dr. William A. Jackson, Mr. Charles H. Behre and Mr. A. F. Walker
- For treasurer, Mr. J. G. St. Amand
- For clerk, Mr. J.. E. Harding.
- For advisory committee , Mr. William J. Govan and Mrs. Metta V. Foster and Mr. W. M. Francis
- For superintendent of the Sunday School, Mr. Hamilton Douglas
- For assistant superintendent, Mr. George H. Crafts
Anna M. Lederle
Jno. L. Moore
President Woman’s Alliance
TO THE CONGREGATION OF THE UNITARIAN CHURCH, ATLANTA, GA.
The report of the President of the Women’s Alliance is not only a report of successful work, but it also a report of many attempts which have not all been crowned with success.
The Alliance has attempted to assist in the growth of our dear church; it has made valiant attempts to add its mite to the treasury of the church; has attempted to bring into closer union and personal acquaintance, the members of the church, so that they may come in contact with each other not only once a week at Sunday services, but during the week in every day life; it has attempted to assist the able superintendent of the Sunday School in his work when he needed its support in his plans; it has attempted to aid the pastor in his efforts to find those who are Unitarians in sympathies, hopes and aspirations and to bring them to their natural church home; it has attempted to take its place in the host of brave workers in our city who are trying to ease the burdens of those of our citizens to are in distress. All these thins the Women’s Alliance of this church has attempted, how far it has succeeded, must be left to others to decide.
From the society’s efficient treasurer, you will hear facts and figures which will tell you a great deal, but the President cannot refrain from emphasizing some unusually strong points in the work of the Alliance end in its membership.
One of the strongest characteristics of this band of women, is its faithfulness to its plans of work, its perseverance and indomitable courage under disheartening circumstances, and its firm adherence to all this aims and ideals of our faith. Another great charm of the Women’s Alliance is a perfect friendliness of the members toward each other. Never, at any meeting, even if a difference of opinion exists, has there been any show of feeling or animosity and every woman in the society feels that the other member is a friend indeed.
The work of the Alliance was systematized by its former president, who put its different interests into the hands of committees to who had charged each one, of a special branch of were the work. Committee were appointed for the following interests: House Committee, Committee on Benevolence, Flower Committee, Visiting Committee, Free Kindergarten Committee, Entertainment Committee and P.O. Mission Committee.
All these committees made great efforts to work successfully for the benefit of Alliance and Church.
At the beginning of this year the society decided to told weekly meetings. This plan was strongly supported, even by members who were not in favor of it and throughout the year, the average attendance of the meetings was fourteen from a working membership of twenty one. This fact seems to prove the loyalty of the members to the aims of the society and their willingness to give then support even against their own judgment and at a personal sacrifice.
During the past year the Women’s Alliance has held a Biscuit Supper at the beginning of the year, and Easter sale, Rummage sale, a Dramatic and Musical Entertainment, and several smaller affairs.
It has in various ways managed to keep its treasury replenished and to contribute to the church treasury. It has also kept in touch with numerous charities in our city and has not failed to do some charity in the by-ways where others did not think to go. It sent a delegate to the Southern Associate Alliance meeting which was held during the sessions of the Southern Conference in Charleston in November, and paid its regular dues to the National Alliance, the Free Kindergarten Association of this city and to the Southern Associate Alliance. The society has also set aside one meeting a month for the intellectual improvement of its members and lectures by the pastor of the church based on Herbert Spencer’s Data of Ethics were given throughout the year.
A special meeting to become acquainted with Mrs. Ellis Peterson of Boston, who is chairman of the committee on Southern work of the Nation Alliance, was a most interesting event. Mrs. Peterson, in an informal talk, gave all those present a clearer insight into the working methods of the National Alliance, and she also gave an outline of what is being done for the growth of Unitarian thought in the rural districts of our Southland.
In a general way the manifold activities and interests of the Women’s Alliance have been outlined, but the details of its work, the difficulties and sacrifices it involves, as well as its inspirations and hopes, can only be thoroughly understood by its members and these brave women seem to be firmly resolved to overcome the first and to foster and tend the last.
To be president of such a society is an honor and also an incentive to attempt great things and feeling this and also having the conviction of a generous support from the brave women constitute the Women’s Alliance, this report is respectfully submitted to you by its President
Emilie S. Behre.
Report of the Treasurer covering receipts and expenditures from Jan 1, 1904 to De 31, 1905
|Cash in hand of Treasurer for the year ending Dec 31, 1903||$2.98|
|Sunday collections (in basket)||$189.54|
|Mrs. W.J. Govan||$13.00|
|Chas. D. Atkinson||$25.00|
|Miss S.G. Whaley||$30.00|
|Mrs. A. M. Easton||$15.00|
|Ralph H. Brown||$25.00|
|Geo. H. Crafts||$75.00|
|John L. Moore||$75.00|
|Miss Hattie Martin||$10.00|
|Julius R. Watts||$25.00|
|Miss Daisy Dixon||$10.00|
|Special Collection A.U.A||$50.02|
|Mrs. G.W. Johnson||$5.00|
|Mrs. Cora P. Williams||$10.00|
|Mrs. Lucy B. Additon||$5.00|
|Subscription to service books||$29.30|
|Mrs. Metta V. Foster||$5.00|
|Dr. C.E. Hall||$10.00|
|Mrs. A.M. Lederle||$10.00|
|Dr. W.A. Jackson||$40.00|
|J.G. St. Amand||$75.00|
|Sub Total Receipts||$1,226.86|
|American U. Association||$400.00|
|Fund from Southern Conference||$44.00|
|Rev. C.A. Langston on salary account||$1,200.00|
|Mrs. A.M. Lederle as organist||$78.00|
|Southern Conference to Mrs. St. John||$49.92|
|A.U.A. (Archivist: assumed for Annual Contribution)||$50.00|
|A.U.A. for books||$30.00|
|Edwin Mueller musician Xmas gift||$10.00|
|Ins. on church and furnishings||$20.05|
|Expense account (coal, lights, printing, etc.)||$82.04|
Balance in hands of Treasurer: $64.58
Atlanta, Ga. Jan 9, 1905
J.S. St. Amand, Treasurer
Treasurer’s Extended Report
To members and worshippers or the Unitarian Church of Atlanta:
It has been my custom at the annual meeting of the church each year, to simply present as Treasurer of the church, a detailed report of the, receipts and disbursements of funds that came into my hands during the year, without any comment.
As this is the eighth consecutive year of my administration, as Treasurer of the Church, I thought that it might interest you to know how I came to be Treasurer, and the progress that has been made by the church in a financial way during the term for which I have held the office.
In June 1896 a Christian gentleman was nominated to the National Republican ticket to be their standard to victory, and in July or August thereafter, a half a dozen gentlemen met in the office of a prominent newspaper man, and conceived the idea of organizing a club bearing the name of the nominee, I was not present at that meeting, but your former Treasurer, Mr. Lederle was, and at his suggestion I was invited to meet the party at the next meeting, at which time preliminary steps were taken, and an address issued to the voters of Atlanta and Fulton County, inviting them to attend a general meeting to be held to perfect a permanent organization, at the appointed time some two hundred and fifty gentlemen met in a hall on Alabama street, the meeting was called to order, discussions entered into freely, each speaker presenting his plan, and claiming for himself everything that was on the land, in the sea, and the skies, even the air that was breathed by those present was controlled by some of the speakers, discussions became quite heated and for a while it, looked as though nothing could be accomplished, at the critical moment a gentleman in the audience, but partially known, arose and in a happy vein soothed the troubled waters in a five minutes talk, when he took his seat, the Chairman of the meeting Mr. T.M. Martin, inquired of me who the speaker was and informed him that it was the Rev. Mr.W.S.Vail, minister of the Church of Our Father, Unitarian, from that moment Mr. Vail was the hero of the meeting, as his little talk had welded all differences.
In the organization of the Club, I was chosen as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Campaign committee, as Chairman of the Campaign Committee, it was my duty to arrange for speakers at the meetings, which were held three times a week, the Rev. Mr. Vail was a constant attendant, and whenever I found that interest was lagging, I could always call upon Mr. Vail, and he, never failed to make an interesting talk..
The membership of the Club steadily increased from the first meeting. On the night previous to the election, the club by a rising vote directed its President to wire the congratulations of its seventeen hundred members to the beloved leader, whose name it bore, the late lamented Hon. William McKinley.
After the National Election, Rev. Mr. Vail said to me “Now Mr. St.Amand, as I campaigned for you politically,” I will ask you to reciprocate by campaigning for me spiritually, to which I assented very readily to, so on the first Sunday after the election, I kept my promise by attending the little church, as time went on the Rev. Mr. Vail visited me frequently, and finally persuaded my wife and myself to subscribe to the church roll, after I had signed the church roll, the next request that he made was that I act as Treasurer. I consented to the use of my name, and at the annual meeting held November 15, 1897, I was elected to the office, which I have since held.
I have had many years experience in handling finances in a business way, but my first and only experience in church finances has been during my term as Treasurer of this little church, and I will say to you frankly, that many has been the time, when it looked to me as though the church work must come to a close, for the only way a good part of the time current expenses could be paid, was by the Treasurer personally making advanves, and often at times when he was in the same condition as the church – namely: “Without funds”.
Now think of the poor minister, and the patience with which he went about his duties, no doubt often hungry if the appeasing of his appetite depended on the prompt payment of his salary.
The Treasurer and the minister are, usually on very intimate terms, especially so where each have families, as they both readily realize that it takes money to live on, individuals being constituted differently from the finny tribe, so must have other nourishment than water and air to sustain life.
As Treasurer of the church I have never allowed conditions to dismay me in the least, when the days seemed darkest, I simply got more aggressive as, some of the good friends here have experienced taking the position that the movement must, should and, would improve, which it has, as shown by amounts raised from direct contributions of the members for the past eight years as follows:
Contributions from the A.U.A.
If at anytime I have appeared to you as a surly, ugly task master, with only one end in view, and that to get all the money out of you I could, blot that impression from your memory, and say to yourselves the Treasurer is a good frienily fellow, and is only trying to do what he can to hold together the dear little church, which we all love and are so much interested in.
In conclusion will say, that the prospects of our little church were never brighter, the field, is rich and fertile, and if the Pastor and friends will put the same energy in interesting friends who ought to be identified with our church to do so, as the Treasurer has had to exhibit in pulling the finances of the church together, the year 1905 will be a banner year for us.
As a parting salutation will say, that the Treasurer now makes the most phenominal statement that has ever been made by any Treasurer of the church and that is, that the, minister was settled in full for his year’s salary previous to Christmas, and that we close the church year out of debt, with a balance in the hands of the Treasurer.
J.G. St. Amand.
Jan. 9, 1905
For the Year 1904
To the President and Members of the Unitarian Church in Atlanta, Georgia:
It will soon be five years since at your request I came here to be the minister of this church. I can hardly realize that I have been here so long. While these years have seemed to pass rapidly, there has been time enough for larger results than have been accomplished. During this period many have moved away, some have died. But others have come to take their places. So, in the long run, the gains have more than matched the losses. We are, I believe, stronger to-day than we were four years ago. I feel sure we are more deeply conscious of our distinctive mission.
The church year now closed is in some important respects unique in my experience as a minister. The numerical strength of this church has been increased by two, the smallest gain of the four years. Yet, taking the four years together, more people have joined the church than came into our fellowship during a period of eight years previous to 1900. While the numerical increase of membership has been small, the report of the clerk shows that the average attendance upon the morning services has been higher than that of any previous year. The number of strangers coming to the services of late has been noticeable, and this evidence of interest in the services on the part of non-Unitarians may mean new members later on.
On the economic side, the state of the church is reported to be in better condition than the most sanguine of us dared to hope. For the first time in my ministry among you, the Treasurer comes to the Annual Meeting without a deficit. The fact that we are here tonight owing one another nothing but good-will and brotherly love must be interpreted as a good omen stand ready to help in all good works to the extent of their means <Archivist Note: cannot transcribe 2 to 3 words> for the church year into which we are about to enter.
The Sunday School has lost in total membership but has not fallen in average attendance. The officers which you elected one year ago have faithfully performed the duties to which your votes assigned them. The work of teaching has been seriously affected by the unwilling absence of Mrs. Douglas who, many of you know, has not been physically able to attend to her duties as teacher of a class of young women and young men. She will, I am happy to report, soon return to her post and her class which has fallen off in attendance will soon be brought back to a place among these on the honor roll.
It would be a pleasure for me to single out the officers and teachers of the Sunday School one by one and pay to them a just tribute of praise for fidelity and efficiency, but I can only take the time to say that no Sunday-School could hope to have a more competent management. The members of this church may justly feel proud of the Sunday School. I am glad that the school is manned, or should I say, womaned?!, by a staff of teachers whose careful instruction in religion embraces family discipline. And that is the only kind of teachers any Sunday School ought to have. I commend its work to this membership and suggest that every one of you make it a point to visit the school from time to time.
The work of the Alliance has moved quietly along. Weekly meetings have been held one of which being set apart for study. We are justly proud of our good women, women who have no time for gossip but plenty of time for benevolent work. It is through the Alliance that this church enters into friendly relations with other religious workers of the city. In this many other communions gradually realize that Unitarians stand ready to help in all good works to the extent of their means and abilities.
On the occasion of the Harvest Supper I spoke of the increasingly friendly attitude of non-Unitarians to us as a religious organization. I confidently hold that there is no serious disability attaching to membership in this church; that all reasonable people in this community recognize the fact that this church has a special work to do, a work which no other church here would or could do.
But, as was observed recently by a group of this membership, in a city of one hundred thousand inhabitants to which people from all parts of the country are coming to make homes for themselves, the Unitarian Church should not be content with its present strength. Instead of an average attendance of fifty or less, we ought to have an average attendance of at least one hundred. Our task is to make the actual match our ideal.
To this end we should re-consecrate ourselves. The minister should spend himself more liberally in the work to which you have called him and you should take care to bear more eager testimony to the worth and usefulness of the church in this community by faithfully attending all its services.
In spite of apparent losses in membership, I believe that the year before us full of promise for growth in numbers and usefulness. I believe this entire membership feels that this church is destined to advance speedily to self-support. One of our members has proposed that we undertake to bring one hundred new members into the church during the coming year.
That would be an achievement but we shall be satisfied with half that number.
Taking the casual remarks of various members of the church concerning the prospects for increasing usefulness as indicative of dauntless courage getting ready to display itself increasingly constructive work, I see no reasons why we may not enter upon the new year with cheerful hope.
I pledge this membership without reserve all my time, my strength, my talent for the coming year.
Physical Archive: UUCA Box: 25 Folder: 04 Book: 01 Pages: 263 – 272
Citation: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta Records, RG 026, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta GA