Counting up to our 60th anniversary
with a trip through UUCPA history …

In 1947, twenty-seven people signed the charter membership roll!

In 1949, the congregation call its first settled minister, Rev. Felix Danford (Dan) Lion.

In 1950, the Palo Alto Community Center served as the temporary church home.

In 1951, we purchased a home at 339 Kellogg Avenue in Palo Alto for use as a parsonage. We also bought radio time on KEEN and the Rev. Dan Lion gave a radio commentary on Unitarianism on Saturdays.

In 1952, when, due to Senator McCarthy’s influence, the government required churches to sign a Loyalty Oath in order to keep their tax-exempt status, the Board of Directors refused to sign.

In 1954, we bought our five-acre Charleston Road site for $30,000, having met for several years in the Women’s building and then in the Palo Alto Community Center.

In 1955, a small Senior Choir, under Director Emma Lou (Timmy) Allen, made its debut at the Sunday services. Rae Bell, a member of our current congregation, sang in the choir. From 1955 forward, the congregation required no further financial assistance from the UUA — a good record for a new Church!

In 1956 Joseph Esherick was selected as architect to design our church buildings. The Church School had over 400 students with a waiting list for all classes below the sixth grade, and the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade classes meeting in five nearby homes. The Church Board continued to refuse to sign the Loyalty Oath, but paid the tax.

In 1957, the Community & World Affairs Committee assisted a Displaced Persons family from East Germany, Mr. & Mrs. Horst Erdmann.

In 1959, with the help of our congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Redwood City was chartered. It thrives to this day.

In 1961, concrete was installed on the Main Patio, and the Church School raised $500 towards landscaping.

In 1962, the lovely Madrone branch was installed in the Main Hall.

In 1963, “Timmy” Allen, our first adult choir director, left for the East Coast after 7 memorable years.

In 1964, the Patio Building was completed ($13,000) and the Women’s alliance raised $400 towards a new refrigerator for the Main Hall kitchen.

In 1964, we supported Rev. Dan Lion's participation in the Mississippi Summer Project. We also planted 100 junipers, street-side, and 3000 Vinca (Periwinkle) in front of the Main Hall.

In 1965, our accent was on Social Concerns, and we supported Rev. Dan Lion’s trip to Selma, Alabama.

In 1966, we sold 2.2 acres of church property across the creek at below-market price to aid the construction of the first low-cost senior housing in Palo Alto (Stevenson House).

In 1967, both ministers counseled young men on their conscientious objector draft status, and the congregation voted to support U Thant’s 3 proposals regarding the Vietnam War.

In 1968, the congregation voted AGAINST building a new auditorium.

In 1970, we voted to form a non-profit corporation in order to establish a PAUC-sponsored hight school on campus.

In 1971, we voted to establish a Children’s Center on our campus to meet an urgent community need for quality day care for working parents. Its name was a tribute to the late Ellen Thacher of our R.E. Department.

In 1972, founding minister Dan Lion resigned after 23 years to become Associate Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of New York City.

In 1973, Dr. Ronald Hargis was called to serve as a minister of PAUC, and Rev. Bill Jacobsen was called to serve as co-minister with Dr. Hargis.

In 1974, a unique “Holiday Delicatessen of Ideas” for the public was given by the Social Concerns Committee in the Main Hall in early December with proceeds going to assist community projects of minority groups.

In 1975, we entered into contract with Ben Gill Gardening Service. The sidewalk strip at the front of the church was planted with Arctosis (African Daisy) by Bill and Jean McFadden.

In 1976, we sold the Parsonage. The income from the sale was invested, with the interest going to operating expenses. New gas lines were installed in the overhead walkways.

In 1977, Bob and June Dunmoyer were the Religious Education Directors. The Rev. Ronald Hargis resigned.

In 1978, the Uni-Singles group was in its third year and very popular, with 50 – 65 participants.

In 1979, Circle Diners was proving to be a splendid way to further new friendships within the congregation.

In 1980, a new arts committee was enhancing the Main Hall with flowers on Sunday, decorating at Christmas and promoting new art exhibits.

In 1981, the lounge area of the Women's Restroom was artfully decorated, and a new couch was much appreciated.

In 1982, our congregation joined the South Bay Sanctuary Covenant to provide protection, advocacy, and support for Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees.

In 1983, we celebrated the 25th year of building our new church. The Rev. F. Danford Lion, foundin minister, was named Minister Emeritus.

In 1984, eight planting beds on the church grounds were completely renovated with plants grouped appropriately for sun and shade.

In 1988, we voted to change our name to Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. We began housing Hotel de Zink once yearly.

In 1992, a new Madrone branch was installed in the Main Hall.

In 1993, Beautiful new banners were hung in the Main Hall.

In 1999, we were recognized by the UUA as a Welcoming Congregation. A capital campaign began with the goal of a new Administration Building and Patio Building.

In 2000, the Rev. Darcey Laine was called as Minister of Religious Education.

In 2003, the Rev. Amy Zucker was called as Parish Minister and the Rev. Scotty McLennan was confirmed as a Community Minister in Association with UUCPA.

In 2004, offices for our ministers, four restrooms, an administration office, and a library/conference room were reconfigured. The congregation reaffirmed its support for marriage equality, especially civil marriage between two partners of the same sex.


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