1962: Founding Members Receive Charter
In November 1962, nine people from the northern suburbs of Milwaukee organized the North Shore Unitarian Fellowship. They adopted by-laws and voted to apply to the Unitarian Universalist Association for a charter. The charter was granted, and the nine founding members signed the first membership book on Jan. 11, 1963. This was the formal beginning of today’s Unitarian Church North.
1963: Settling In
Initially, the new congregation met in members’ homes. By November 1963, the fellowship had attracted enough new members and friends that space was rented for services and other activities at the Country Day School in Whitefish Bay. A move was made to the Mequon Woman’s Club in 1966, and in 1969, a vote was taken to officially change the name to Unitarian Church North. By the mid 1970s, membership had grown to 64 adults, with 50 children registered in the religious education program.
1976: First Minister
The first minister, the Rev. Dale Robison, was called in 1976. Early activities included social gatherings, field trips, canoeing, bicycling, and theater. The June picnic was established as a tradition early in our history. Many early members are memorialized in objects in the meeting room-the chalice, covenant, and artwork. Some are still active members of the church. Brent Smith became our second full-time minister in 1983, and in 1984 the first Director of Religious Education joined the staff.
1987: Our Church is Built
As the congregation grew, so did the desire for a permanent church building. In 1980, the congregation purchased land east of Port Washington Road in Mequon and built the church, which replicated the architecture of the octagonal Clausing barns built in Ozaukee County in the 1800s. The church building was dedicated in October, 1987.
1988: Cultivating our Natural Landscape
The nine-acre property maintains a natural landscape in keeping with the rural setting. The prairie circle in front of the church was planted in 1988 with native grasses and prairie flowers. Memorial structures including the bridge, limestone bench, gazebo, and split rail fences have been added to the property, along with many memorial and donated plantings.
2005: Expanding for our Growing Congregation
To meet the needs of our growing and vibrant congregation, the church building was expanded in 2005, adding more meeting rooms and religious education classrooms.