All Are Welcome. Love Is Inclusive, Not Exclusive.
960 Barnett, Kerrville, TX (830) 792-3626 Sunday Service - 10 am to 11 am
Once upon a time there was just one Unitarian Universalist group in Kerrville. Because of a generous gift of over $250,000 from a former member, Edith Bramish, the UU group decided in 1994 to share an intern minister with Community UU in San Antonio. We had this minister two Sundays a month. 1994/1995 was a pivotal year where we experienced more spiritual type Sunday meetings in the private dining room at Schreiner college.
Many of us came to our annual meeting in May, with an idea of what could be now that we had the funds. We "could" have a minister, we "could" have our own building, we "could" grow and change. These ideas caused great dissension (save the money, don't like a minister, don't need a building, having children are not really necessary) so with much discussion and with broken hearts, 18 of the 30+ members left the fellowship.
We had a different religious vision. So in 1995 a small group of 12 decided to take a leap and started meeting in Wilma Palmer's pool/party room. In that room we decided what kind of spiritual path we wanted our church to follow.
We would be:
One of our first decisions was to meet on Sunday mornings - behind this was the traditional background we all came from along with what we needed to appeal to families and grow. So the tradition was set, Sunday mornings at 10 am, hymns, candle lighting, Sunday school, offering, meditation, and readings. All the traditional trappings that we hoped would not only bring in families but would bring a secure place to seek their own spiritual path.
June of 1995 our treasurer reported $65. By August 1995, we were up to $307, but still meeting in the pool/party room. In September of 1995 we began meeting in the Schreiner college chapel; we had a church in a box. In a small video cabinet we kept our Chalice, 10 hymnals, and offering basket. Sunday school started with two children in a conference room. And by November 1995 our treasurer reported a balance of $911.
In 1997 we took our second giant leap. Wilma Palmer financed our purchase of 960 Barnett for our Church building. In June 1997 we began meeting in our new building with construction going on around us. Our potluck was set up on saw horses in the big room on third Sundays. And be sure to go to the restroom before you left for church!
When remodeling the church was needed, Bob Randle got his construction license, then became a plumber, and an electrician. His boys, Patrick and Andrew, made this a family project. Steve Galland got the painting done, and Ernie Motteram helped when he could. Philip McKeon, Joyce Randle's father installed the cabinets and built the podium. Others helped when they could, since many of them worked outside jobs. The library was where all the women became good friends.
By the fall of 1998 we were finished enough to have services in the sanctuary, we had us a church. Interior finishes were the next step. Members contributed by purchasing a chair or two at $20 each, then the carpet and more hymnals.
We paid off our loan on the building, with help from our angel Wilma, in about 2000/2001. In August 2000 Wilma purchased, in our name, the building next door as investment/rental income. Third leap!
In June 2001 we had our official dedication of our church. "OUR VISION REALIZED" . Sadly in April, 2004, Wilma Palmer passed away. Her family forgave our loan and we now owned two properties debt free. A few more years later we received a wonderful gift of a home to use as a Parsonage. Today, we are still debt free.
One source of pride stemming from our founding members is that we've never asked for outside help from UU District or National. We felt that control should be in our own hands.
Our church family is warm and inviting, a comment used by everyone who steps into our building and joins our congregation.