Church of Our Father – Meeting Minutes Nov 3, 1884 (Annual Meeting)

Atlanta, Ga. Nov 3, 1884
Annual meeting of Church of Our Father

Members present: Mesdames Morrill, Gude, Center, Hodge, Winslow and Miss Cooledge and Center.
Messrs. Morely, Lederle, Winslow, Norrman, Harding, Hodge, Gude ad Klingelsmith.

Meeting opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Chaney who then retired from the meeting. Mr. Gude was chosen chairman.

The Treasurer’s report was called for and Treasurer Hodge made the following report:

In making his report of our financial condition during the year since our last Annual Meeting your Treasurer desires to extend his congratulations not only that we have been able to readily meet all demand made upon us, but also that at this time the end and beginning of our church and fiscal year, we have not inconsiderable cash balance on hand.

Leaving out of account the American Unitarian Association and the salary or our pastor, items that cannot at present be fairly considered among those that we are called upon to meet, we have paid up everything and instead of having like of our sister churches, a debt to board of, we have $361.20 in hand.

We all know that this happy result is due to the kind assistant of our friends outside of the Church and while thanking then from our hearts for their more than generous help, must bear in mind that the time is fast approaching when we must not look to them for further aid, but must be self-sustaining.

While your Treasurer believes firmly that every member has done all he could to put our church in good financial condition the fact remains that we, as a body corporate, must do more, much more, this year than last. And inasmuch as we are all doing as much as we can the importance of securing new members and gaining increased financial strength becomes self-evident.

To illustrate this fact more clearly, you will pardon me if I here give some figures that will make the case plain.

Our pastor originally came here on a salary from the A.U.A. of $2,000 per year and for nearly two years they paid him this sum. This summer he very properly told them he did not think they should pay him over $1,500, but that wherever more he needed would be made up here. The fact is, that in order to meet his necessary expenses, he needs not the $2,000 originally paid him, but $2,500. You all know him and his family so well it is needless to attempt to say why he needs this amount.

I think you all will admit it is not unreasonable that $2,500 should be required for the support properly of a family like his, when the necessary travelings expenses are included. It therefore falls upon us to pay him $1,000 in addition to what he receives from the A.U.A.   That is, the heaviest expense we have to meet.

We had subscribed by members last year $600. We received this year from excess rent over interest $310 so that if this year’s subscriptions should be the same as last year, we can expect a total of $910 and we $250 cash on hand, making $1270.

I would recommend that we consider not less than $270 of this be set aside for the care of church, fuel and light which would leave only $1,000 for all expenses besides, including those items we cannot now reckon upon and our pastor’s salary. It is not enough to make things sure, and at the closet calculations would leave us this time next year without a cent.

I believe you will agree with that our subscriptions list must be increased.

I should say that there is still $290 due us on this year’s subscription and $65 rent for the dwelling house, but these figures do not affect the totals I have given you.

Thus briefly I have mentioned the main points to be considered and at the close of this report will read in detail our receipts and payments. There are many things we would like to do here in the church and outside, but we must wail until on little handful of members has grown as it will to compare favorably with the members in our neighboring churches.

The demand for pecuniary aid will be constant and increasing and it becomes the duty of each of us who feels a real interest in the welfare of our church to do all he can until we have passed from the category of missionary churches and like some of the older Unitarian churches of the north, cannot only support ourselves, but lend a helping hand to other young and struggling organizations.

In so far as it may seem to hear only the Treasury interest of the church, I will in conclusion refer to the indirect strength we seem to be gaining in this city. A couple of years ago, a Unitarian church here was with religiously inclined people a thing not to be thought of – an impossibility. Today, I can confidently assert there is not one of those people ignorant of our existence. Many come to hear the words of our pastor and of those many, some will stay. It rests with us to encourage them and to hold them.

Everyone gives us strength as to numbers and finance ally and speaking from the last point, no opportunity should be lost.

Respectfully Submitted,


J. Russell Hodge, Treasurer

 Receipts to Nov 3, 1884 1883 1884
General subscription 4195.50
Rev. L. Chaney 215.00
Annual subscriptions 307.00
Rent 417.50 520.00
Hymn Books 900.00
Collection for Christmas Festival 29.45
General Contributions 86.45
Box Receipts 15.90
American Unitarian Association 363.87
Gifts 254.00
Receipts 1883 4657.25
Receipts 1884 1662.22
Total Receipts 6313.47
 Receipts to Nov 3, 1884 1883 1884
General subscription 4195.50
Rev. L. Chaney 215.00
Annual subscriptions 307.00
Rent 417.50 520.00
Hymn Books 900.00
Collection for Christmas Festival 29.45
General Contributions 86.45
Box Receipts 15.90
American Unitarian Association 363.87
Gifts 254.00
Receipts 1883 4657.25
Receipts 1884 1662.22
Total Receipts 6313.47
Payments to Nov 3, 1884 1883 1884
Real Estate Dwelling 835.57 84.00
Chapel 2617.00 1047.29
Hyman Books 62.05
Christmas Festival 19.35
Expense 33.85 103.37
Insurance 37.50 69.00
Furnishings 33.62 484.58
Books, etc. 63.00 35.04
Fuel and Light 43.05
Interest 350.00
Printing Sermons 24.00
Suffering Poor 10.00
Payments 1883 3701.94
Payments 1884 2250.33
Total Payments 5952.27
Cash on Hand as per Trial Balance 361.20
Amount to balance receipts 6313.47

Trial Balance of Treasurer Church of Our Father Nov 3, 1884

Cash 361.20
Geo. L. Chaney 215.00
Miss Cooledge 27.00
W.H. Snowden 65.00
E.P. Burris 25.00
Mrs. Morrill 35.00
F. Lederle 12.00
J.R. Hodge 34.00
J.M. Klingelsmith 6.00
Real Estate Dwelling 17.93
Chapel 3664.29
Hymn Books 53.05 10.10
Christmas Festival 137.22
Expenses 106.50
Insurance 518.20
Books and Library 98.04
???? Subscription 4195.38
Mrs. Center 3.00
Miss S.E. Center 3.00
Miss M.J. Center 2.00
W.E. Fisher 29.00
A.V. Gude 15.00
J.E. Harding 18.00
John Y. Dixon 15.00
T.N. Winslow 8.00
J.D. Wilson 5.00
General Contribution 76.44
Fuel and Light 43.05 15.90
Box Receipts
American Unitarian Association 363.87
Interest 350.00
  Women’s Auxiliary 120.00
  Women’s Auxiliary Kings Chapel 29.00
Miss ???? Bradley 5.00
Printing 24.00
L.L. Fisher 5.00
Total 5355.55 5355.55

The Treasurer’s Report was accepted and ordered spread upon the minutes.

The Report of the Board of Trustees was then called for and the following report was read by Mr. Klingelsmith, Secy of the Board.

Report of the Board of Trustees to the Members of the Church of Our Father:

In addition to the report of the Treasurer, the Board of Trustees desires to make a report though somewhat meager of their stewardship of the affairs of the church for the past year.

It will be observed that the Treasurer’s report covers almost the entire ground, of the receipts and disbursements by that officer if followed up would disclose about every effective act of the Board.

We congratulate the church on the splendid showing which the Treasurer’s report discloses the amount of means generously bestowed upon us and its wise and fruitful investment. We hope that the entire church will feel a personal pride in endeavoring to add to this fine record.

Our church as come to us like a great friend and we should feel a deep interest in extending the blessings and benefactions that have added so much to our usefulness and happiness.

As to the work of our various committees, they have each performed their duties, though quietly, with apparent zest and satisfaction and we believe everything has been as well done as could be desired.

The musical department of the church has been so well conducted and has rendered so much sweet and serviceable aid to the church, that it and the music committee are entitled to special praise and the sincere gratitude of the Board as well as the church.

We can only scan the past year’s record and report to you a few feature of our work.

Our manner of seeking subscriptions and the methods of collecting them on the first Thursday of each month, we believe you are well acquainted with and heartily approve, as well as the uses and good looks of our contributions box in the vestibule.

Last spring we increased the insurance on the Chapel and school building $1,500 and also insured the books in the Parish Library to the amount of $1,000.

Our improvements during the past year aside from the completion of work begun previous to our last annual meeting consisted mainly in a new and ornamental fence enclosing the church yard and the laying of a sidewalk of brick by the city at our expense on the church street side of our property.

We also added to the accommodation of the library by supplying additional shelf room in the Ladies Room and we would also suggest at this point that it would perhaps be well to enlarge on this improvement and relieve the already too much crowded small room of a few of its books. This small room has also been supplied with hydrant water and a sink for the convenience of the ladies.

Plain but durable matting has been laid in the aisles of the church and also in the vestibule and gallery, and it might be well to add also a width in the ladies room from the entrance door to the center aisle, as it would make quieter entrance from those coming late.

We have to report that the school building was re-let for one year to Prof. Means at a monthly rental of $55.00. This is somewhat less than we thought the building was worth at that time, but in view of the fact that its occupation for school purposes was much to be preferred to that of a boarding house or some similar purpose, we deemed it best to renew our lease with Mr. Means, as he had been a pleasant and acceptable tenant.

Early with summer, we appropriated $50.00 for a publication fund to be use by our pastor, Mr. Chaney, in the publication of sermons, tracts, etc. for general distribution. We felt that the high character of his sermons and the Christian doctrines promulgated were worthy of a wider circulation and influence. We feel that this fund should never be left at low tide and it might be proper to suggest that special contribution could be made to this fund.

Printing presses are plenty nowadays, but good and sound Christian doctrines are scarce, and a few dollars invested in extending the circulation of Mr. Chaney’s sermons, we feel will result in great good and material advancement of our Church.

Last spring we were made a generous and useful donation in the shape of a carload of coke from Col. W.C. Morrill for which we return our hearty thanks.

Many generous gifts of beautiful and fragrant flowers have graced the pulpit and tables at various times and we are deeply indebted for these refined acts of attention.

The following letter which was sent by the board to the American Unitarian Association of Boston on Sept 5 last explains itself and will probably be new to some of you although it was published in the Sept number of the Christian Register.

American Unitarian Association, Boston, Mass.


In one month the Church of Our Father of this city as expected, will re-open for another year, and it may not be inappropriate for us, its Trustees, to say a few words to you in regard to its past and future welfare, recognizing as we do, the fact that it is really due to your Association that it is in existence at the present day.

When, with your assistance, Mr. Chaney came to Atlanta it seemed to us that the prospect of successfully establishing a Unitarian Church here, was more than discouraging. There was the merest handful of real Unitarians to be found by the most careful search, and the powerful orthodox organizations and influences, strong by age and the natural tendencies of the people of this section seemed to prohibit almost the possibility of adding to our numbers by the new converts, either form those found to other creeds or those who seemed to incline to no especial denomination.

With rare tact and discrimination, Mr. Chaney began by interesting the few Unitarians in his project and other residents of the city in general matters of public education and charitable importance, forcing them to admit the desirability of his influence in affairs entirely disconnected from the Church and to regard him mainly in the light of a most valued citizen.

About a year ago after his arrival the field seemed ready for more definite work and our Society was organized and with the liberal contributions he secured from the North, added to what we could raise here, our Church was built and from the day we first held services in it we have more and more felt we were coming a power in the community. Our membership has nearly doubled its original number and we are confident that the coming year will produce even better results than the past.

We appreciate fully the help you have given us by sending Mr. Chaney here and aiding us so much in the matter of supplying us with land for the our Church. We feel with reason that each year we should need less help from you than the year before, and it will be but a little time when we shall be self-supporting.

To accomplish this, however, and thoroughly complete the good work that has been begun, we cannot too strongly urge you to add your endeavor to our own to keep Mr. Chaney here. It is due to him that the first discouraging features and their insurmountable obstacles have been so well overcome and today he has hold upon us as a Society and upon the community at large as a man and a citizen that no one else could take.

The knowledge we have of him induces a love and respect that cannot be transferred to any one else, and we are convinced that the successful fruition of the work attempted depends more upon his continued stay here than anything else and earnestly hope you will be of the same opinion.

We cannot close without some reference to the important influence Mrs. Chaney also has in the matter. Her popularity with the people generally is as great as her husband’s. Her interesting work and excellent judgment are manifest both in the church and in numerous matter of public interest and we feel that in our present success, she has been a factor of the greatest value.

<signed by Board>

J.R. Hodge
W.H. Snowden
A.U. Gude
W.E. Fisher
G.L. Norrman
Frank Lederle

J.M. Klingelsmith, Secy

Hoping thee the coming year will be improved more than the past, and leave better results to be reported to you.

We are your obedient servants,

By the Board

J.M. Klingelsmith, Secy

The following resolution was then adopted, in response to the recommendation of the Treasurer’s report and as the sense of the meeting to provide for the necessary addition to Mr. Chaney’s salary.

Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting that it is the duty of this society to pay during the coming year $1,000 toward the pastor’s salary and that the Treasurer be instructed after meeting absolutely necessary expenses to pay this amount of as much of it as he can as he from time to time may have funds.

A committee of three was then appointed to nominate a member of the Board of Trustees to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of Mr. Fisher’s team.

The Committee nominated Mr. Morely and he was unanimously elected.

Treasurer Hodge and Clerk Klingelsmith were both unanimously elected for another term.

A vote of thanks was passed for the faithfulness and efficiency of the Treasurer and Clerk.

Rev. Mr. Chaney presented to the church two beautiful tablets 6 ft. x 13 ft. containing the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer, former occupying a place in his old Boston church, the Hollis street.

After considerable discussion and consultation with Architect Norrman, it was regretfully concluded not to accept the gift on account of the inability of using them in our small church. Many thanks mingled with many regrets were tendered Mr. Chaney for his generous gift.

A committee of three was appointed to examine the Treasurer’s books, consisting of Messrs. Lederle, Norrman and Snowden.



J.M. Klingelsmith, Secretary

Physical Archive: UUCA Box: 25   Folder: 02   Book: 01   Pages: 130 – 145
Citation: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta Records, RG 026, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta GA


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