Unitarian Church of Atlanta – Meeting Minutes, Jan 13, 1908 (Annual Meeting)

Annual meeting of the Church held January 13, 1908.

The Ladies served a lunch from 6:30 pm to 8:00pm.

The regular business meeting was called to order at 8pm, by John L. Moore, vice chairman.

Those present were: Mr. & Mrs. Francis, Mr. & Mrs. Bowser, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Lederle, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Taaffe, Mr. &  Mrs. J.L. Moore,  Mr. & Mrs. Wade P. Harding, Mr. & Mrs. Gardner, Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton Douglas, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Behre, Miss Estelle, Mrs. Ormond, Mrs. Williams, Miss Alice Ormond, Miss Edwine and Edna Behre, Miss Marie Lederle, Miss Angie Harding, Miss Hattie Martin, Mrs. Daniels, Mrs. J.R. Beardsley, Mr. J.E. Harding, Dr. Jackson, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Watts, Mr. Marshall, Philip Francis and Wade Harding, Jr. (39).

Minutes of the last annual meeting read and approved.

Treasurer’s report read, approved and ordered to be spread on the minutes.  This report showed a balance on hand of $48.02.

Report of Clerk read and approved.  This report showing an average attendance at Church services to sixty-four (64).

Mr. H. Douglas, Superintendent of Sunday School made a full and detailed report of Sunday School work for the year.  Which report was considered very flattering in the good work down by the school.  The attendance and financial condition <is> very good.  The excellent report is spread on the minutes and is worth reading.

Mrs. J.R. Beardsley, President of Woman’s Alliance made an excellent report and it will be spread on the minutes.

This report shows money taken in $457.99.  Money expended $334.03 leaving a balance on hand of $128.96.

The Minister had no written report but made a good talk to the meeting on the line of building up the Church attendance and the prospects and hopes which we all have of securing another lot and having a new Church building.

Under head of new business, Mr. Moore as Chairman of New Church committee stated that our Church Property is in the hands of Real Estate Agents for Sale.  But times being financially close, there were few sales being made and he doubted very much whether at this time we could secure the ready money to handle other lots for church purpose which the committee had in review.

Mr. Francis was of the opinion that we did not need a new church until we could fill our old one with a good congregation.

Mr. Behre thought that we could work to fill up our present Church but not give up the idea of striving for a new Church in a better locality in the near future.

Mrs. Williams was decidedly in favor of the new Church and will give $200 towards the buying of a new lot.

The matter was discussed freely by other members of meeting including Miss Martin, Mrs. Daniels, Mrs. Douglas, Mr. Watts, Mr. Lederle, but no action was taken in the matter except a motion of Mr. Lederle that a committee of five (5) be appointed from members of the Church outside of the members of the Board of Trustee as an additional new church committee.

Vice-Chairman Moore appointed the following members on that committee: Hamilton Douglas chairman, Wade P. Harding, Mr. Young and Mrs. Cora P. Williams.

Mrs. Bowser moved that a committee of two (2) be appointed to draft resolutions on the death of Mrs. Alice White Birney and that committee consist of Mrs. Douglas and Mr. Watts.  Copies of these resolutions to be sent to her family and the Christian Register.  This motion was unanimously carried.

Mr. Francis tendered his resignation as a member of the Board of Trustees which was accepted.

The Chairman then announced the next business on hand was election of officers for year 1908.

The nominating committee presented the following ticket and the Clerk by motion was ordered to cast the ballot for the ticket as present, which was done and the Chairman declared the ticket as presented unanimously elected.  There being no other business, the meeting adjourned.


J.C. Harding, Clerk


Trustees Three Year Term

A.F. Walker
C.H. Behre
W.A. Jackson


Two Years (to fill vacancy)
J.E. Harding

T.C. Perkins

W.M. Francis

Advisory Committee

Mrs. E.N. Williams
Mr. J.R. Watts
Mr. W.P. Hardin

Supt Sunday School
Hamilton Douglas

Asst Supt Sunday School
A.T. Bowser

Clerks’s Report for Year 1907

Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees have been held during the year with the exception of two months in the summer.

Quarterly and call meetings of the church have been held from time to time to transact the business properly coming before the church.

The average attendance at the church services during the year was sixty-four (64).

During the first of the year under Dr. Shippen the average attendance was sixty-three (63).

Average attendance during Dr. Bower’s pastorate since Oct 13th was sixty-six (66). I leave off fraction in these averages.

During the pat year four of our beloved members have passed to the Higher Life.  Namely: Mr. Frank Hartshorne, Mr. Ralph H. Brown, Mr. Howard Daniels and Mrs. Alice McLellan Birney.

Respectfully Submitted,


J.E. Harding, Clerk

Report of Treasurer, Unitarian Church January 1st, 1908

To balance on hand July 23rd, 1907 37.52
To payments on subscription, as per detailed report in hands of Finance Com. 418.50
Balance Woman’s Alliance subscription 30.00
Weekly envelop payments, detailed on report to Finance Comm 62.80
Received from American Unitarian Association 83.33
Sundry Basket Collections 62.91
Total Receipts 695.06


To Rev. A.T. Bowser, Pastor Salary 458.33
To Mrs. Frank Lederle, Music $18.00
To Mrs. T.A. Burk, Music $25.00
To Mr. Mueller, Music $30.00 73.00
U.S. Gibson, Janitor Service 22.00
Randall Coal Co. Coal, etc. 13.25
Perdue & Eggleston, On Ins. 40.00
Repairing Furnace and other Repairs 16.15
Printing, Envelopes, etc. 6.50
Ga. Ry. & Elec. Co., Electric Lights 11.92
E.T. Payne, T.C. Water 3.80
Atlanta Gas Light Company, Gas 2.60
Total 647.55

Balance, Atlanta Nat. Bank Jan. 1908 $47.51

Report of the Superintendent of the Sunday-School

Atlanta, Ga., Jan 13th, 1908

To the Unitarian Church of Atlanta

In Annual Meeting:

The Superintendent of the Sunday-School makes this annual report, the data for which is taken from the report of the Treasurer and Secretary.

Financially, the Sunday-School has been for the last year, as in past years, in good condition being able to pay all its bills promptly.

A summary of its finances is as follows:

Jan 1st 1907 Balance cash on hand


Offerings from Jan 1st 1907 to Dec 31st 1907


Special contribution


Total receipts for 1907


December 31st 1907, balance cash on hand


Among the disbursements are:

For Unitarian Sunday-School Association, $3.00; to the American Unitarian Association, $5.00; for janitor’s services for the Church and Sunday-School, from June 19th to Nov. 7th, 1907, $10.75; car-ride for Home for the Friendless Children, $6.05; box oranges for Home for the Friendless Children, $3.01.

Appropriations of this character greeter this year than heretofore, account for smaller bank balance at close of this year than last.

In reviewing the attendance of the past year, the record has been much the same as that of preceding years. A few names have been added, to our rolls, but we have lost by departure from the City, several of our most faithful attendants; consequently, our numbers remain about the same

Early in March, one class had to be discontinued because of our inability to secure a teacher. This class was divided between the other classes of the Sunday-School. In November, a new class was again formed, so that the number of classes is the same is was a year ago. The teachers in all of the classes save the Bible Class, have so frequently changed during the year that it is impossible now to give proper credit to those in charge of the classes at different times during the year.

Miss Margaret Lederle, in charge of the Third Class only consented to take that class temporarily, up to the 1st of December last. The classes then stood at the close of last year this:

First, or Primary Class, Miss Edna Behr, Teacher, enrolled


Second, Miss Marie Lederle, teacher, enrolled


Third, Miss Margaret Lederle, teacher, enrolled


Fourth, Advance Class, Miss Alice Ormond, teacher, enrolled


Fifth, Bible Class, Mrs. Hamilton Douglas, teacher, enrolled


Officers and Teachers


Total Enrollment


It will be seen that the number of children in Sunday-School is very small, the Bible Class and the officers and teachers being all adults. Only 19 children enrolled and some of them Misses aspiring to long dresses!

For the first part of the year, from January to June, there was an average attendance or 30; the largest number being present on April 28, 29, and the smallest attendance 22 on April 14th.

From June until the 1st of October, the average attendance was 28, the largest number being present June 16th, 41, and the smallest September 29th, 21. During this period several were absent for their vacations.

From October to the close of the year, the average attendance was 33, the largest attendance being on November 24th when 42 were present, and the smallest attendance on November 17th when 28 were present. For the last three months of 1907, the average attendance was three more than for the first six months of the year.

The greatest encouragement to the work of the Sunday-School during all of the past year has been the increased interest in it shown by the members or the Church in their regular attendance in the Bible Class. This Class in point of attendance and in interested devotion of, its members, is second to none in any Sunday-School.

Too much praise cannot be given to the teachers and members of the other classes, and to the officers of the Sunday-School, for their faithful work in the past year. Indeed, the average attendance is good when the total enrollment is considered. What we need in the Sunday-school is more children of the many that can be found in our city who never go to any Church or Sunday-School at all. To secure these, the Sunday-School needs the services of those who are able and have the time to follow the example of the Master and go out into the little world about us and preach his gospel and invite those into our School who might desire to come. Unfortunately, the Superintendent and his teachers do not have time for properly doing this work. On this account, the Sunday-School languishes in numbers. It is not what it should be; it lacks leadership and organized direction in the work among strangers.

This report, would not be complete without a word of congratulation for the coming of our Minister and his wife who have been gladly welcomed to our Sunday-School, and who have been regularly found in attendance on its meetings at all times unless prevented by sickness. The minister has taken charge of the teacher’s weekly meetings for study of the lessons of the lower classes.

Outside Work

The Board of Directors of the Home for the Friendless Children, early in April, extended an invitation to our Sunday-School to entertain the children of the Home one Sunday afternoon in each month. A number of our young ladies, appointing themselves as representatives of the Sunday-School accepted the invitation, and beginning with the first Sunday in May, have been going there regularly since that time on the first Sunday of each month. The report has come to me that they have splendidly done their work, so that the Children of that institution welcome their coming over and above the young ladies of any other Church.

If the afternoon be rainy, singing and games and other indoor amusements constitute the program. If the day is bright and sunshiny, long walks and rambles for the older ones and out-of-door games for the younger children, have been enjoyed. The number of the children entertained ranges from 75 to 90, those in the nursery being too young to be entertained in common with the other children.

June 2nd was the last Sunday that Dr. Shippen was with us, and after his departure, the Church discontinued it services for the summer. Our Sunday-School, however, determined to continue the Sunday-School that the Church might kept open. During this time, on June the 30th, Rabbi Marx gave a most interesting lecture to the Bible Class on Immorality.

In conclusion: we have a good Sunday-school. The Superintendent has but little part in it, and so can thus frankly state the fact in simple justice to the efficient teachers, the children and to the members of the Church to have been faithfully attending. But the School in growth is practically at a standstill. Increase and development is the law of all natural life. We should be doing something more than merely training our own children. To have no higher aspiration than this would be selfish indeed. Ours is a growing community, and our Sunday-School should be a growing Sunday-School.

I am well aware that numbers do not make success alone: that we can have a good Sunday-School without numbers. That we do have, but we can have a better Sunday-School with numbers; for it generally true that where have enthusiastic attendance in numbers you seldom find a failure in good work. And the argument that numbers do not make success is most frequently used by those who are failing to achieve the best results.

Respectfully submitted,


Hamilton Douglas


Physical Archive: UUCA Box: 25 Folder: 06  Book: 01  Pages: 317 – 324
Citation: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta Records, RG 026, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta GA