The Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation is a religious community
of individuals coming together for spiritual growth and fellowship.
- We shall through our fellowship nurture and support each other both in our human needs and in our search for spiritual fulfillment.
- We shall provide a place for learning and the sharing of values and memories within and between generations.
- We shall seek to guide the next generation in its search for meaning.
- We shall strive to maintain a diverse membership that respects differing views.
- We shall foster non-violent action in the interest of justice, honesty, and understanding in our community and world.
Thus, shall we serve as a visible example of a tolerant religious community
welcoming others to join.
Although a Universalist congregation had briefly flourished in Springfield during the latter half of the 19th century (1852 – 1900), no organized religious liberal society existed during the first half of the 20th century.
Twelve people signed the original charter for “the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Fellowship (ALUF)” on February 11, 1953, and an official service of dedication was held on March 29, 1953 at the Washington Park Pavilion. The American Unitarian Association (AUA) recognized this congregation as its 100th fellowship and heralded the event nationwide. The AUA and the Universalist Church of America merged in 1961, and in 1966 the Fellowship changed its name to the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
The congregation met in various rented space for several years until a location on Elliott Avenue that served as the congregation’s “New Fellowship House,” was dedicated November 22, 1963 and was used for 16 years. In September 1976, The Fellowship purchased property at 514 North Walnut Street, which was used for 20 years. The current building on Woodside Road was dedicated on March 31st, 1996.
In June, 1993, the Congregation adopted our Mission Statement.
When the fellowship was founded in 1953, there was no regular minister and the Fellowship’s speakers included Unitarian ministers from other Illinois congregations and seminarians from the Meadville Theological School in Chicago. Rev. Harold P. Marley became our first part-time minister in 1956 and served for four years.
From 1970 to 1981, the Rev. Berkley L. Moore preached and provided pastoral services. In 1995, Berkley became the congregation’s Minister Emeritus. Today, he continues to be an active member of the congregation and is a valued colleague of the settled minister. From June, 1981 until the mid-1980s, Rev. Sylvia Howe served as our part-time minister. From August 1985 to January, 2001, Rev. Mary Moore served as our half-time minister. In 2001, the Congregation called Rev. Alex Holt as a full-time interim minister for two years.
In the Spring of 2003, the congregation called Rev. Martin Woulfe as our first full-time settled minister. The congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary that same year.