First Universalist Church Meeting Minutes, Nov 16, 1903 (Dr. McGlauflin Comments on His Resignation)

On the evening of Nov 16, 1903 Dr. McGlauflin explained that he had received the call to the Superintendency of churches for the states of Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dr. McGlauflin then presented his resignation which was as follows:

Eight years ago September last, I first came to preach the gospel as I understand it in this city. Rev. Q.H. Shinn, D.D. our brethren missionary had preceded me and of the twenty odd names of those who he had found that wished a church about a dozen remained, stood ready to cooperate with me to that end.

My visits were monthly until May 1896 when I became a resident of Atlanta since which time this has been my home.

If during these years our work has been difficult it has been delightful. If the progress has not been swift it has been sure. If because of misinformation there has sometimes been intolerance and misrepresentation on the part of those from whom it would have been pleasant to have heard a word of greeting, it has not prevented the spread of more correct information, a growing good voice and increasing esteem toward a people whose faith affirms a capable God and a complete Savior and who are doing what they can to make this world a better place to live in.

From the other side of denominational walls there have been passed to me many fragrant flowers which tell of a cordial spirit that recognizes wherever there is “a union of those who love for the service of those who suffer” a true brotherhood of man.

If our past has sometimes been where shadows darkened the way and we have walked under the cypress and the willow, God has not forsaken us, but placed in our hands also the laurel and the palm.

Not for us are its lines.

“Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through the cypress trees. “ 

Our heavens have been bright with the light of faith and hope which lays hold on the eternal love that worketh over all, through all and in all. We have done what we could. Through Sunday school, Y.P.C.U. and Mission Circle, committees and Boards social benevolent business and missionary, there has been something attempted, something done.

Of the more than 200 members added to the church a good percentage have linked faith to fidelity and esteemed their duties of religion to be as sacred as their doctrines.

The edifice in which we worship has been erected and it with the ground on which it stands has been paid for. Each year we have found a way to assist in our State work and service; we begun to have seen the number of churches in Georgia doubled and the membership doubled also.

Each year has taken our offerings to the home mission work of our national board and to our churches and schools. I will not say in foreign countries, but amid non-Christian people across the seas.

It is gratifying that we have been able to lend a hand to local philanthropies of kindergartens, hospitals and homes to minister to the aged, the widow and the orphan. May increasing years bring increasing ability in these directions.

The character of our Christian faith has called us often to tender helpful ministries where not everyone can render comfort. Parents whose children have been wayward and so died and “made no sign”, turn instinctively to the Universalist type of Christian faith for rest of heart.

Around the graves of those who have departed this life by the act of their own hands there is no place for hope except it be given by Universalism.

Homes that are cast down because of prodigals who have wandered into a far country are not destroyed if they can receive the message of a Savior’s presence enough to seek for the last lost sheep until he finds it. By faith they already hear the acclaim “tis my son was lost and is found; was dead and is alive again.”

It has been our pleasant task to win to our form of faith and to our fellowship many who could never be gained elsewhere. Our thought was satisfying to their minds as to their hearts. The best thinkers of today in every denomination in Atlanta and elsewhere and outside of all denominations are advancing with rapid step toward the Universalist interpretation of Christianity and life. More than is generally known have already arrived.

It is given to Universalism today to be the surest defense of the Christian verities against the attacks of infidelity to show that Christianity is reasonable and that right reason is Christian to the Glory of God, the honor of Christ and the appreciation of mankind. For this, our church has been, is now and will continue to be needed in Atlanta.

It is a privilege for which to be ever grateful that we may unite in administering the message of God’s impartial justice and enduring benevolence which in this world and in all worlds which now and forever seek the good of every soul to whom the Creator has given the power of being.

See that “ye walk worthy of the vocation whenever ye are called.”

And now the time seems to have arrived when our most pleasant relation as people and pastor must be changed. A call has come to me to go elsewhere, so mighty, so earnest, so imperative that it becomes the voice of God.

And so I hand over to you the office I have so long occupied and the responsibilities which it carries. You will readily find another voice to speak to you concerning the high things for which the pulpit was erected. You will find a place for him in your homes and in your hearts. You will esteem and honor and love him just as you have granted to me without abatement these precious tributes.

For every child of yours that I have here baptized and dedicated to God, I shall continue to esteem as mine; every home formed by those whose marriage vows I have solemnized shall be my home; every hand that I have here clasped in the glad service of Christian fellowship I shall continue to hold and the turning of time shall not unclasp them.

Shall sorrow come your way? I shall share it. Shall gladness be your guest? I shall sit beside it in your midst. And wherever I may be and however difficult my new duties, I shall be stronger and more efficient because I shall know that your love and your prayers are with me and for me.

I shall wish to remain with you until my successor is chosen and installed, but then when the day shall come for me to go to my new relations, I shall as now and ever more commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are satisfied. 

W.H.M.

After some debate explaining the nature and urgency of the call Dr. McGlauflin had received, a motion was reluctantly made to accept the resignation. A committee was appointed to draft suitable resolutions of regret which resolutions were drawn up and handed our beloved pastor.

J.C. Bond, Secy

Physical Archive: UUCA   Box: 60   Folder: 1  Pages: 81 – 85
Citation: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta Records, RG 026, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta GA

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Posted in Meeting Minutes, Physical Collection, Universalist Church of Atlanta, Universalists Meeting Records 1900 - 1907

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