The Unitarian Fellowship of Lima began in the fall of 1954 when a small group of local people met with Monroe Husbands, a representative of the American Unitarian Association of Boston, to form the Unitarian Fellowship of Lima, Ohio. Three months later, in February 1955, the Fellowship became affIliated with the American Unitarian Association.

Otto Austin became the first president. The group held Sunday services the next four years in various locations: the YWCA, the Crystal Room of the Argonne Hotel, Robin Rogers School and Bradfield Center.

These founding members, soon joined by other families and individuals, developed a caring fellowship with a free pulpit in which all points of view can be expressed and are welcome. Members and visitors discuss ideas on a quest for truth, trying to make sense and get direction in a sometimes confusing world. We seek to behave ethically by translating religion into everyday social and business relationships. From the beginning, religious education for the children as well as for the adults has been a major focus along with the establishment and maintenance of a local organization responsive to liberal religious thought.

Rev. Charles Grady

Rev. Gary James

In February 1959, the Unitarian Fellowship of Lima (by then incorporated) purchased and moved into the Dr. Parent property at 875 West Market Street, an early 1900's structure. Dr. Oscar Quimby, President of the Ohio Valley Unitarian Conference from Cincinnati, and the Rev. Waldemar Argow, Minister of First Unitarian Church of Toledo, conducted the dedication service.

In 1961 the American Unitarian Association (organized in 1825) merged with the Universalist Church of America (organized in 1793) to form the Unitarian-Universalist denomination. The Lima congregation studied the beliefs, principles and service commitments of the new organization and informally adopted the name Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Two Unitarian ministers have come from this small Fellowship Charles Grady, one of our original members, left his radio broadcasting career to attend Meadville Seminary at the University of Chicago. He has now retired, after longtime service as minister of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Arlington, MA. Gary James grew up in the Lima Fellowship. He attended Star-King Seminary and was ordained minister of the Northern Hills Unitarian Fellowship of Cincinnati in April 1988. He is currently minister of Northshore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, IL.

Our current minister serves our congregation on a part-time schedule, making the trip up from Dayton once a month to present Sunday Service. He frequently makes additional visits for special needs. Rev. Chuck Thomas remains the closest thing to a full time minister with whom the Fellowship has ever been graced.

Our fellowship is one of nearly 1100 Unitarian Universalist congregations in North America. We are a member of the national Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and have been designated by the UUA as an official Welcoming Congregation for those of all sexual orientation. We of the UU Fellowship of Lima welcome visitors attending our weekly services and encourage them to participate in informal discussion following the service. Our Covenant, re-dedicating us in every Sunday service, has remained unchanged since our beginning.

copyright 2009


Love is the spirit of this church
And service is its law.
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another --This is our Covenant.


We are a member of the national Unitarian Universalist Association.   UUA

55th anniversary celebration --2009

Flaming Chalice