Church of Our Father – Meeting Minutes Sep 5, 1884 (Letter to AUA Asking to Keep Rev. Chaney in Atlanta)

Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 5, 1884

There being no business to transact in July and August, the Board did not convene during these months.

J.R. Hodges Office 8 pm.
Present: Messrs. Hodge, Norrman, Lederle, Gude and Klingelsmith
Mr. Lederle was chosen chairman.

Minutes of the last meeting read and approved.

The following letter was offered for the consideration of the Board by Mr. Hodge.

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.

Signature of the Board

Moved to be received and spread upon the minutes and a copy sent to AUA.   Adopted.

Mr. Norrman reported that the small library shelves had been put in.

Report received and approved.



J.M. Klingelsmith, Secretary

Physical Archive: UUCA   Box: 26   Folder: 02
Citation: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta Records, RG 026, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta GA


Posted in Church of our Father, Meeting Minutes

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