How We Began

According to a favorite legend, our congregation was born when Isabelle Johnson put an ad in the local newspaper inviting any religious liberals who happened to live in the area to meet in her living room the following Sunday and seven people showed up!

The true story is slightly less colorful: In 1946, the Reverend Lon Ray Call, Minister at Large for the Unitarian Association, was sent to Phoenix for three months to start a church, and Isabelle agreed to be secretary. She did indeed handle the newspaper publicity and called the meeting (which was attended by thirty-seven, not seven, people), and she is still celebrated as the original founder of our congregation. It was not until January, 1947, that regular Sunday services and classes for children were held in a local school building. When classes became too crowded, everyone simply moved outside, or, in one case, to the back of a teacher’s station wagon!

For more information, please watch the videos below and visit our Timeline Through 2020 or Timeline 2021 and Onward. You might also find the PDFs in the sidebar helpful.

Early History

Social Justice Heritage