HISTORY OF THE FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH IN ROCKLAND

In Rockland, Maine, in 1820, a brick meeting house on the corner of Old County Road and Limerock Street was shared by Methodists, Congregationalists, and Universalists. Though other occasional and circuit ministers served before him, the Reverend N.C. Fletcher was our first resident pastor. By 1838, the congregation of Universalists was large enough to warrant a church of its own, and a new building was erected on Union Street. On January 13, 1842, the First Universalist Church of Rockland became a legal and official organization. We were born and named. The Union Street building was eventually disposed of and in 1876 the Church of Immanuel, Universalist was dedicated. This was our home for over 80 years and its cornerstone can still be seen today outside of our current building.

On April 26, 1960, we broke ground on Broadway, for the building that houses our worship, exploration, celebrations, sorrows, and lots of coffee to this day. Our first Sunday service was held here on November 6, 1960. The tapestry that hangs above the altar was created by some quilters in the congregation. The story goes after they pieced it together, they noticed a flaming chalice in it, and enhanced those pieces to showcase it. In the course of the last 200 years, we have had many settled and interim ministers, leaders, pianists, committees, members, guests, families, and curious humanists share this physical and spiritual space. We are a church rooted in change, grounded in tradition; as we step into the next era, the story of Unitarian Universalists, a free and liberal faith, is being told by its living, thriving congregation.

For a more detailed accounting of our church history, contact the church office at mail@uurockland.org, and they will put you in touch with our archivists.

Carousel imageChurch of Immanuel exteriorChurch of Immanuel interiorFirst Universalist Church in Rockland under constructionChurch of Immanuel Cornerstone in front of UUR