There is wonderful interest in liberal religious thought in Atlanta. Rev. Moore Sanborn has been our minister in the Church of Our Father (Unitarian) for only two months, yet, in comparing November, 1905, with the same month of last year we find that, under his efficient leadership, both our attendance and collections have nearly quadrupled, and are still increasing from week to week.
On last Sunday our congregation taxed the capacity of our church, and some were turned away without seats. We are now seriously considering the advisability of securing the use of the opera house for our Sunday services until we can build a larger church. During the month there have been 12 accessions to our church membership, 8 of whom were men, and nearly all of them heads of families. This apostolic number is notable as being the exact count of those who made up the membership at the time our church was first organized.
A social organization is being perfected which will be known as the “Socius Club,” which is designed to add materially to our social, intellectual, and spiritual development.
On Friday evening, the 24th ult., we held our annual Harvest Home Supper in the social rooms of the church. The weather was in clement, yet the attendance was unusually large, filling the rooms with an enthusiastic body of men and women who are making Unitarianism felt as a power for good in our community.
Early in October we gave Mr. Sanborn a reception which was the most successful occasion of its kind that it has ever been my good fortune to attend. The ministers of the Episcopal, Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, and other churches, and the Jewish Rabbi, seven in all, united with us in cordially welcoming Mr. Sanborn. This all emphasizes what we have been trying to bring to the attention of the Association, and of our sister churches in the North, that the South now presents the best field for Unitarian activities under proper leader ship.
We have no room here for a leader who is not efficient. For five years our church was barely held together by a small band of loyal workers, while many of our members remained permanently absent from our services. We were losing ground month by month, and we could not hold our full membership even. Now, however, Mr. Sanborn has united us, has given new impetus to our work, and we confidently expect to become the strong rallying-point for Unitarianism in the South.
In no other section of the country do we find certain elements so wonderfully effective in our work. Here we unite Methodist fervor with the discipline and culture of Unitarian thought. I have attended Unitarian services in the East, Middle West, and West, and this fervor, this enthusiasm of the Unitarian membership of this section, always impresses me as a dynamic which the Northern churches of our faith much need, but do not possess.
Send us more leaders like Moore Sanborn, and our Southern churches will soon be among the Association’s large contributors instead of its beneficiaries.
John L. Moore
Source: The Christian Register found in Google Books, Vol. 84, No. 50 Dec 14, 1905, Page: 23 – 24 (1403 – 1404)