Our Heritage

Here We Have Gathered: The Story of Unitarian Universalism in Western Pennsylvania 1808-2008
by Kathleen Parker

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Documents from the Founding and Development of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
This digital collection begins with special letters that were written by the earliest Unitarians who settled west of the Allegheny Mountains in the years from 1825 to 1850. The letters are identified by the author of the letter, not the recipient. The Rev. Charles Elliott St. John arrived in Pittsburgh in October 1891. Soon, he and the church secretary, Miss Mary Lyman, sent letters to former members of the church requesting they write back about its very early years.

These documents were compiled by Kathleen R. Parker, Ph.D. with support from the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program and the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh.

The following archival institutions have given permission for the documents at this site to be digitally reproduced. Any use of these documents must reference the institutions where the originals are held, as indicated in each case:
- Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Cambridge, MA
- Senator John Heinz Regional History Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Our Documents, Our History

1825   Harm Jan Huidekoper, letter to the American Unitarian Association
Permission: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Cambridge, MA

1826 - 1843 Benjamin Bakewell, letters to the American Unitarian Association
Permission: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Cambridge, MA

1891 - 1905 Martha Everett St. John, letters to her mother
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#551, St. John Family Papers, Series II, Martha St. John Papers, Box 2, F 1, 2, & 3
Contains excerpts of letters pertaining to church life – written by Martha Everett St. John in Pittsburgh, to her mother, Mrs. George D. Everett of Northampton, MA, 1891 to 1900.

1891 - 1893 Rev. Charles Elliott St. John, letters from prior member
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series II, Box 1, F 14
The Rev. Charles Elliott St. John arrived in Pittsburgh in October 1891. Soon, he and the church secretary, Miss Mary Lyman, sent letters to former members of the church requesting they write back about its very early years. Here are the letters written in reply:

1892 - 1899 Rev. Charles Elliott St. John, Annual Reports
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series II, Box 1, F 14

1900 - 1929   Rev. Dr. L. Walter Mason, Sermons
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 21, 22, & 23

1929   Memorial to Rev. Dr. Mason - prepared by Board of Trustees
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XV: Pittsburgh Unitarian, Box 11, F 12

1927 - 1943 Rev. Frank Edwin Smith, Sermons
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XV: Pittsburgh Unitarian, Box 11, F 16

1932   Church School Annual (later known as O’Eniausios –four volumes)
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XVII: Religious Education, Box 16, F 1-4

1944 - 1961   Rev. Irving Murray
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 24-28

1953 - 1955   Albert Schweitzer
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XXII: Topical, Box 21, F 28A

1961 - 1969   Rev. Ed Cahill, Sermons
Note: KDKA radio sermons are briefer versions of pulpit sermon
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 11-15

1969   Rev. Ed Cahill, Resignation
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series VIII: Congregational Mtgs, Box 8, F 4

1969 - 1970 Bail Bond Reform
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XXII: Topical, Box 21, F 22

1970 - 1973 Rev. David A. Johnson, Sermons
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 19

1973 - 1975 Rev. John R.B. Szala, Sermons
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons/Writings, Box 18, F 33

1979 - 1981 The Scholar and the Ethical Dimension Series
Permission: Margery Gulbransen; Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 40A-43

1982 - 1989 Rev. Paul H. Beattie, Sermons
Permission: Lucinda Beattie and the Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 1-8

1983   Margery Gulbransen on Olympia Brown
Permission: Margery Gulbransen; Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XXII: Topical, Box 21, F 19C

1985   Edward Schoyer on Pittsburgh Unitarianism
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XXII: Topical, Box 21, F 27A

1990   Rev. Clarke Wells, Sermons
Permission: Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA
MSS#550, First Unitarian Church, Series XIX: Sermons, Box 18, F 35

Come to be moved and held in mutual embrace. Come and be made whole.
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-8008     Map and directions
Worship Services
10:30 AM
Sunday
Office Hours
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Tuesday - Friday
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